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Saturday, 21 November 2015

Kogi: Anxiety over Card Reader




Despite the apprehension that trailed the conduct of the Kogi governorship election, the exercise was peaceful in most polling booths visited.
In places like Okele Efiyo/ Ejile/ Allah and Ogbonicha Wards in Ofu Local Government Area, accreditation of voters commenced at 8 am.
The All Progressives Congress, (APC) governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu came for accreditation at Ogbonicha Ward 002 at 12. 15 pm and later voted at about 1.30pm.
Appraising the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) the APC candidate said from reports reaching him across the state, the electoral body has been transparent. But he equally expressed concern over snatching of ballot boxes in certain areas of the State, which he however noted were unconfirmed.
Audu said: ” So far, so good, it is well organised. Even during the time of PDP, they will make sure that election conducted in this polling unit is free, fair and credible so as to attract my commendation, but in other polling units it isn’t like that.
“PDP has been snatching boxes in Igo, Onicha-Igo, at Ankpa. But like I said, it was unconfirmed reports and we have asked our people to report to law enforcements agents.”
He expressed confidence that he would defeat his main rival and PDP governorship candidate, Idris Wada.
“Today is the day God will give the people of Kogi, the power, the strength the wisdom to effect the long overdue change in Kogi state. By the special grace of God, after this election, Kogi will join the mantra of change that is going round the country.”
In his assessment of the security presence and the conduct of the electorate at polling units, Assistant Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC) Hilary Kelechi Madu said the exercise was peaceful in most places he visited.
He also dismissed the allegation raised by the Peoples Democratic Party that the presence of military men, particularly in Dekina Local government the stronghold of the PDP candidate, Idris Wada was to intimidate his supporters.
“I don’t think that’s true. In places we visited, we didn’t see soldiers near polling booths. Their presence was to curtail hoodlums and prevent vehicular movement from neigbouring states.”
There were unconfirmed reports that the Card Reader failed to pick the thumb print of accredited voters in some polling units.
Further checks by Sunday Sun revealed that the affected voters were given Incident Form after accreditation to enable them to vote.
Ambassador Michael Ojimu Friday, Media Coordinator for APC in Kogi East Senatorial district confirmed the development but said INEC was on top of the situation.
“There were complaints that the Card Reader wasn’t working well in some places, but INEC is on top of it.
People are determined to cast votes for candidates of their choice. Everything is going on well.”

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