The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that every eligible voter that has queued up to vote at their polling units before 2.30 pm will be allowed to exercise their franchise.
This was made known by the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at a real-time election briefing on Saturday in Abuja, noting that no Nigerian will be disenfranchised.
Yakubu at the briefing said that the Bimodal Voter Registration Systems (BVAS) has been “functioning optimally” in all parts of the country.
No Nigerian will be disenfranchised
On a question from the press on how the commission would handle reports of delayed voting, Yakubu said every Nigerian with Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) present at the polling units will vote.
- The INEC boss said, “No Nigerian will be disenfranchised. Yes, we opened some polling units late. And we admitted that in some places, some polling units were opened late but the system has an automatic mechanism to recover lost time.
- “We don’t start at 0830am and close at 02:30 pm on the dot. If we start later than 08:30 am, whoever is in the queue before 02:30 pm will vote, no matter how long it takes. So, no Nigerian will be disenfranchised on that score provided he or she is at the polling unit before 02:30 pm.’’
Thugs disrupt voting in Lekki, others
Meanwhile, there are reports that some thugs on Saturday disrupted the voting process in Elegushi, Ikate area of Lekki and other parts of Lagos State.
According to Channels Television, an eyewitness said the thugs scattered the setup of the INEC officials on Saturday.
- The eyewitness said, “At my polling unit here near the Oba Elegushi’s palace, some thugs did not allow us to vote. They scattered everywhere saying that we cannot vote here and that if we want to vote we can go to Anambra to vote.’’
There were also reports of disruptions in other areas in Lagos including Aguda, Ojo, and Oshodi among others. Security operatives have, however, arrived in the area.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, who confirmed isolated cases of thuggery in some parts of Lagos, described the situation as an admixture.
- He said, “It was an admixture of very peaceful conduct in most parts but we also recorded isolated instances of thuggery. As I said earlier, we anticipated them and we have multiple teams to respond in the fastest manner.
- “We were able to stabilise the situation and rescue the INEC officials.
- “I can confirm that several arrests have been made but at this moment it is still an ongoing process. So, I cannot conclusively say this is the number of polling units where violence was recorded but at the end of the day we will do a post-election evaluation and come up with specifics.’’