The 2021 Governorship election in Anambra State has been marred by late arrival of electoral materials and malfunctioning of the newly-introduced Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System, B-VAS.
Our correspondent who monitored the election in parts of the state, reports that the machines take up to 20 minutes to accredit one person while in some areas, it simply packed up after few activities.
There was also the case of late arrival of the electoral materials which resulted in the elections starting hours late.
When some polling stations in Aguata Council Area were visited at about 11am, materials were yet to arrive, as voters waited patiently.
The Presiding officer for Uga Ward One, Polling Unit 022, Obi Ugochukwu explained that the late arrival of the materials was due to issues they have with vehicles conveying the materials from the INEC Office at Ekwulobia to the voting points.
Meanwhile, there was appreciable turnout at some polling units contrary to expectations that there will be voter apathy.
There was also heavy deployment of armed security personnel on the roads, enforcing the order on restriction of movement while at the polling units, the security men were unarmed.
Speaking at about 11am when he cast his vote at Amesi Ward, Polling Unit 010, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Valentine Ozigbo commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for its commitment to conducting the exercise, but expressed concerns over the late arrival of materials and the B-VAS malfunctioning.
Ozigbo who expressed satisfaction with the massive turnout at the polling unit, worried that the voters may not be able to cast their votes with the pace at which the B-VAS functions.
“I am worried because when you look at the turnout, you will understand that there is no way all these people can be accredited and they vote before 2:30 pm.
“I therefore call on INEC to extend the time so that no one will be disenfranchised,” he pleaded.
Meanwhile at Otiogbata Primary school Uga Ward One, Polling Units 017 and 018, voting centre for the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Andy Uba, voting had started at about 11am with the B-VAS malfunctioning at times.
Uba who was said to be pissed by the development, was not on hand when our correspondent arrived, to speak with him.