Biola Azeez, Ilorin.
Malfunctioning Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BIVAS) device in Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections delayed the commencement of accreditation and voting in some polling units in some constituencies of Kwara state.
The development was observed in the Kwara South and Kwara West senatorial districts, particularly in the Irepodun local government area of Kwara state despite early arrival of electoral officials and materials.
For instance, at the Ile-Bale polling unit (002) in Ajase-Ipo ward 1, in the Irepodun local government area, many prospective voters waited for more than three hours after the arrival of electoral officials due to malfunctioned BIVAS.
It was gathered that there were over 800 registered voters at the polling unit, said to be one of the largest in terms of population in the ward.
Ninety years old trader, Mallam Saliu Yakubu, was among the frustrated voters, who waited patiently for more than three hours for electoral officials to fix the machine.
A polling official, who would not mention her name, said that the device was eventually fixed by “simply removing the batteries and restarting, saying “It is now working fine”.
The INEC ad-hoc staff, who ruled out possibilities of any extension of voting time, however, assured that all those on queue as at 2:30pm when voting is expected to end, would be allowed to vote.
Similar situation was recorded at NEPA polling units Ajase ward 1 (006) where officials complained of slow network thereby delaying accreditation and voting.
Meanwhile, the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo, Oba Ismail Alebiosun and life chairman of traditional rulers council in entire Igbomina land, has described the exercise as generally peaceful expressing satisfaction with the peaceful manners in which his subjects conducted themselves.
He also advised politicians and candidates in the elections “to accept result of the elections whichever way the pendulum swings”.
The monarch, a lawyer by training also expressed optimism that the new electoral law would strengthen democratic process in the country.