Malfunctioning card readers delay poll in Oyo, Osun, Ekiti

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Ibadan- There was a massive turnout of voters for the presidential election in Oyo, Osun and Ekiti on Saturday although the accreditation process was delayed in some polling units by malfunctioning card readers.

In Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, voters had turned out as early as 7.30 a.m. for accreditation in many polling units.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there are 5, 620 voting points and 4,783 polling units in the 33 local government areas of Oyo State.

In Ikolaba Unit 19, Ibadan North Local Government Area, the card reader was faulty although there was a huge turnout of voters.

Similarly, in Ward 8 Unit 9 A and B Ojoo Elemu, the card reader was unable to be capture the finger prints of potential voters.

At Unit 21 Ward 11, Community Grammar School, Oluyole Extension, the card reader was indicating low battery while NAN gathered that Form EC8A to be used for recording names of accredited voters was yet to arrive.

In Ward 12 Unit 7, INEC official, Ejike Abraham, told NAN that the card reader was also having low battery and was being charged at the nearby Our Lady of Apostle Secondary School, Odo-Ona, Apata.

At Ward12 Unit 1 in Apata Market in Ibadan, the INEC presiding official, Bakare Kamorudeen, told NAN that the card reader began to indicate low battery after accrediting only two potential voters.

He said efforts were on to charge the machine to continue the exercise to enable accreditation of the agitated voters.

Similarly at Ward 12 Unit 54, the card reader indicated “ locked’’ and could not be used for the exercise.

For the more than 70 voters at Ward 11, Unit 16 at People’s Basic Primary School, New Adeoyo area, Ibadan, there was also cause to worry as the two card readers in the unit were not working.

NAN correspondent observed that as at 8. 54 a.m., no voter had been accredited.

A voter, who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity, said that while the INEC officials came on time, the available card readers were not working.

“From my observation, these people don’t seem to understand how to operate the machines,” he said.

Mrs Funke Akeremale, the APC party agent at the unit, confirmed the challenge posed by the card readers.

“They arrived with two card readers, but until now, nobody has been accredited because of the faulty card readers,” she said.
Mr Olufemi Komolafe, the Accord party agent, also expressed dissatisfaction with the card reader machine.
Also witnessing challenges with the card readers were the polling units at Central Mosque, Sabo and Ward 6 Unit 10, Sabo in Ibadan.

In Iseyin, NAN correspondent reports that the card readers in Ward 9 Unit 4 in Igboho Orelope Local Government Area did not work.

A similar experience was recorded at Igbojaiye Ward 1 Polling Unit at Otu.

In Oyo town, the card reader provided for Ajanpati Ward 6, Unit 002 in Balogun area was malfunctioning.

But reaacting to the issue of malfunctioning card readers, INEC spokesman in Oyo State, Mr Ayodele Folami, told NAN that voters whose details could not be captured by the card readers would be made to fill a prescribed form.

Those whose details were confirmed from the information in the form, he said, would be allowed to vote.

Also, in Ogbese Ward 5 Polling Unit in Ise-Ekiti, NAN correspondent reports that while the card reader could detect picture and data, it could not identify thumb prints.

In Osun, there was also a huge turnout of voters for the accreditation process.

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Although accreditation of voters at Oja Oba Unit 2, Ward 2 polling Unit, Iragbiji, started at exactly 8:12 a.m., the process was however stalled three minutes after it commenced as the card reader rejected the PVCs.

Joshua Amos, the INEC official at the unit, said the machine was indicating that the PVCs was not meant for the polling unit.

He said it was a mix up in card reader placement as the machine brought to the unit did not belong to the unit.

Amos said his supervisor had been contacted and the proper machine would be soon be provided.

Meanwhile, in Ile-Oluji, Ondo State, the accreditation process began at about 8.00 a.m. in many polling units which had massive turn out.

Victor Onyema, the INEC official at Ward 2, Unit 6 Polling Unit, told NAN that the exercise had been hitch-free.

Onyema said that the card reader was working optimally for the accreditation process. (NAN)