While the results of yesterday’s election is yet to be announced, there are some very interesting, funny and not-so-funny facts (and hearsay of course).
Lateness of Polling Officials and materials: While the accreditation process was supposed to commence by 8 am, most polling officers and their materials were yet to arrive at their units around 10am. It’s to the determination of voters that they didn’t erupt into violence especially as security personnel were largely absent.
Malfunctioning Card-Readers: Despite INEC’s insistence on the use of card readers for accreditation of voters, the card readers malfunctioned in most polling units across the country. It wouldn’t register voter’s fingerprints for confirmation of identity. It so happened that voters were advised to wash their hands and dry accordingly before coming for the accreditation. Washing sections were even set up in some polling units. I think they were trying to say that the card readers weren’t dirt friendly, eh?
Still on the card readers, the president was among those affected by this pesky thing. I read somewhere that the President had to be on the queue for two hours (and three card readers after) in the sun before he was accredited manually by facial recognition. What’s up with that?
But while the President was sweating it out in the sun (I hope he had an umbrella), the presidential candidate for the opposition, Buhari, and his wife arrived their polling unit in Daura exactly 8:43am and it took just less than five minutes for them to be accredited. Is that significant or what?
Is it also significant that these annoying card readers only malfunctioned in the South?
The Electoral Process: While the voting itself could be said to be generally free and peaceful, they were not free of influences. Party officers and agents could be seen canvassing for votes for their candidates. They offered enticements of sorts, mostly cash but in a polling unit in Onitsha, a party allegedly actually distributed rice in takeout plates to voters who agreed to vote for their candidate(s). How they planned to confirm that was unknown to me since the ballot was a secret one.
Misconducts and Violence: Despite the widespread peaceful election, some areas of the country weren’t so peaceful. I heard that ballot boxes were snatched in some polling units in the southeast. I thought we’ve grown beyond that kind of thing. Apparently, desperate politicians and their agents abound. Six INEC officials were kidnapped in Enugu. An INEC vehicle conveying officials and materials was hijacked and the officials assaulted. Series of shootings were reported in some parts of Rivers State with four recorded deaths, one of them a soldier. Explosions were reported in Enugu and Anambra States but no casualties. Of course Boko Haram could not remain silent. They purportedly killed about 40 persons and disrupted elections in some parts of the northeast.
Elections were postponed till Sunday in about 300 polling units across the country due to technical glitches as INEC stated but I hear that electoral officials didn’t show up in most polling units yesterday. Election results were also cancelled in some states like Kano, Rivers.
Some other noteworthy events of the day included:
A guy seized the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend in one polling station. It made for entertainment for voters in the sun. Voters suggested they get married on Inauguration day and name one of their children PVC. 🙂
That’s all for now. The results would soon be announced.