Rain disrupts voting process in Abuja councils election

Professor Mahmood Yakubu. INEC Boss

Professor Mahmood Yakubu. INEC Boss

Adadu Decries Failure Of Card Reader
A heavy downpour yesterday, disrupted Council elections process at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, forcing Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials to scamper for shelter in nearby buildings close to the polling units.

The heavy rain, which began at midday, forced electoral officials and agents at polling units to hurriedly dismantle voting materials, including the cubicles already set up for the process.

In many areas, including Gwagwalada, the few voters that turned out for the exercise waited patiently for the rain, even as politicians and their supporters were busy moving from house to house to beg voters to come out, when they observed a low turn out.

INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had on Friday evening, after inspecting logistics arrangements on ground for the polls, called on the registered voters to come out en mass for the exercise

The INEC boss in company of his National Commissioners and the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Charge of the ,FCT, Prof Jacob Jatau, said that he was  impressed with the situations on ground for the smooth conduct of the exercise.

But before the yesterday’s rain, a palpable apathy had characterised the exercise as many residents went about their businesses, with only a few voters at most of the poling units visited by The Guardian, just as officials were seen sitting down idle.

From Karshi, a satellite town in the FCT to Orozo and Karu, black market operators had a field day as they displayed the scarce product.

But Senator Philip Aduda, representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) decried the failure of the card reader; he had to resort to manual registration when the device failed to capture his fingerprint at the old Etsu Karu polling where he went to cast his vote.

Aduda, who promised to raise the issue before the Senate for necessary action, also remarked that it was surprising that INEC was yet to perfect the use of the card reader, after putting it to use in the last general election.

Claiming that dozens of supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were being harassed and arrested by security operatives working in tandem with members of the All progressive congress (APC), he expressed optimism that the PDP would triumph in the six councils of the FCT.

A visit to the Unguwar Hausawa polling unit 005 in Karu, in AMAC area council revealed that hundreds of prospective voters were being accredited to cast their ballots.

A presiding official, Ms Victoria Nwankwo said although there were isolated cases of card reader failure,  genuine voters were allowed to exercise their franchise after going through the procedure of filling the incidence form.

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