Card reader stalls Abuja elections till Sunday

Hudu Yakubu, Abuja.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is continuing the local council re-run election on Sunday in some of the areas that recorded problems of cards readers and in some places as result of violence.

Addressing journalists, the supervising INEC National Commissioner from North Central, Professor Anthonia Simbine, listed the  affected area as Wuse, Gwagwa, Karshi and some polling units in Kwali area council.

She said that the card reader stalled the conduct of the election in the units, explaining that at the time the technical challenge would have been resolved, “it would have been too late to begin election in the wards’’.

 “As of now, we have just two polling units where election will be repeated.It may be more than that at the end of the day but right now we are sure of two.

In Pai ward, we are going to repeat the exercise by tomorrow, also in Gwagwa (AMAC); the card reader malfunctioned and the voters waited patiently in those places. They are going to have opportunity to vote tomorrow,” she said.

On the general conduct of the election, Simbine said that the process was peaceful except for skirmishes reported in few areas.

According to her, slight violence was reported in Wuse but it was taken care of by security operatives.

“In Tunga Karshi, we had to evacuate our staff and in that particular place about 150 voters were affected.We had to completely stop the voting process to ensure safety of our staff.

We would not be repeating elections in Karshi because the voters there have demonstrated that they do not want to vote.Moreover, there is nothing to show that there would be no violence if we choose to repeat election in that area,” she said.

Commendation

Meanwhile, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory , Muhammad Musa Bello has commended the residents of the Federal Capital Territory for the peaceful manner they conducted themselves during the election.

The Minister who monitored the election exercise at the Gwarinpa I District, Kubwa satellite town and Jiwa Polling Stations in the FCT lauded the residents for the mature way they queued up to observe their civic responsibility.

He also paid tribute to the security agencies in the Territory for the proactive and professional way they handled the exercise from the beginning to the end.

The Federal Capital Territory council election provides an opportunity for the electorate to vote in new chairmen and councilors in the six council areas.

The elections witnessed a low turnout of voters and heavy rain fall disrupted elections in some areas visited in the Central District of the capital city.