November 06, (THEWILL) – Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano and his wife, Dr. Ebelechukwu Obiano just exercised their constitutional duty by voting in the ongoing Anambra Guber elections.
As early as 9:25 am, they arrived at the Eri Primary School, Otuocha 1, polling unit 004 where there are 1162 registered voters.
Obiano hailed INEC over the exercise stating that this was easier unlike 2019.
They called on eligible voters to come out and perform their civic duty without fear as everywhere is calm and peaceful
Meanwhile, Voters at Polling Unit/Ward, PU 002, Ward 13, Isuofia, Aguata LGA, have protested against the malfunctioning of INEC’s card reader deployed to the unit.
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo who is from the unit has not been able to vote because of the faulty card reader machine.
“Not a single person has voted in this polling unit with more than 200 voters waiting to cast their votes”, a voter who was interviewed said.
Angry eligible voters who held their voter’s card expressed displeasure at the delay and failure of the card reader.
“Nothing is working here; see my PVC. I am prepared to vote, but we cannot vote; nothing is working here.
“We all have the same challenge, I’ve been here for more than three hours. Very soon, they will close the voting and we will not be able to vote. We need to vote and exercise our franchise, please”, he said.
Another voter said the INEC official at the polling unit had tried the accreditation more than three times, but it had failed to work.
“They tried it three good times, but it did not work”, he said, noting that he had been at the polling unit since 8 am but had not been accredited.
“If they do not want us to vote, let them tell us, we would go home, not that they will let us sit here all day without voting. The machines are not working,” he said.
The INEC official at the polling unit said he has communicated to his supervisor at Awka who said the problem is not peculiar to the polling unit which is located at the Aguata local government area of Anambra State. But some analysts say it could be a plot to systematically disenfranchise the voters.
There is also the challenge that security operatives are not at the polling, despite the climate of fear that exists in the state.
At Isuofia polling unit 001, voting was reported to have commenced at about 9:21 am but at about 10:30 am, only about 15 voters had cast their ballots.
It was observed that residents came out in their numbers to exercise their franchise but INEC machines were either not working at all or working slowly.
At Isuofia polling unit 005, voters equally lamented that since INEC polling officials started by 9:12 am only 20 voters were able to cast their ballots as at 11:00 am.
A visually impaired old man, Mr Udoka Okafor, said he was dissatisfied with the process. He said that despite INEC promises of being ready for this election what is happening at the polling unit is unfortunate.
He said “I have been here since 9:30 am but I have not been able to cast my vote. The INEC voting machine couldn’t read my fingerprint but I must exercise my franchise.”