By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJ – The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has issued a preliminary report on the ongoing Presidential and National Assembly elections, saying in some places polls did not begin as scheduled owing to security challenges or issues with some members the National Union of Road Transport Workers NURTW.
INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye disclosed this Saturday in Abuja at a news conference at the National Collation Centre. He was joined at the briefing by the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi as well as the Director, Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Liaison, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzi.
The commission, he said has approved an extension of voting time in areas where there were delays. Such extensions would be commensurate with the number of hours lost to the delays.
“With regards to the opening of polls, in some states of the federation, we recorded 100 percent and in some others, we recorded over 90 percent. We are in touch with all the Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs and our Electoral Officers in the local governments and they have given us reasons why polls were delayed in some areas. Some were security related while others had to do with the NURTW.
“The second challenge is the malfunctioning of the smart card readers. In all such places, we have directed the RECs and Electoral Officers to replace those card readers”, he said, adding that the commission’s technical support officers are in all the Registration Area Centres RACs to help out.
Consequently, Okoye said “the commission has decided to extend polls in areas where polling did not start on time. For instance, where polling started 12pm instead of 8am, the extension would be for four hours”, he stated.
On opening of polls between 8am and 12pm, Okoye said the commission recorded 100 percent compliance or success in Ekiti, Katsina, Kebbi, Ondo and Osun.
While in Adamawa, INEC recorded 34 percent, it recorded 0.98 percent in Into and 0.18 percent in Kano.
More details later…..