IT’S election day in Nigeria and the citizens are eager to exercise their voting rights but INEC officials arrived late at the several polling units across the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The ICIR reporters monitoring the process in several parts of the country report that voters are queued up in their various polling units as early as 6 am on Saturday but electoral officials did not arrive as at the time slated by INEC.
According to the INEC National Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, electoral officials were supposed to be at their post at the various polling units by 7 am to set up their materials, while accreditation of voters and actual voting starts by 8 am.
However, as at 8 am, there were no INEC officials at various polling units in the Lugbe, Wuse, Karu and Nyanya axis of the FCT where The ICIR reporters visited.
Enthusiastic voters, hundreds of them, were noticed queued up and calmly waiting for the officials.
At the polling units located in Lugbe Primary school, precisely PU: 009, Kabusa Ward in the Abuja Municipal Area Council, INEC official only arrived at 8:30 am. By the time they arrived, voters had already started putting down their names in a list so that when the officials do arrive, they would make use of the list and allow people to vote on first come first serve basis.
The list already has almost 400 names by the time the officials eventually showed up.
In Nyanya, Area C II ward, INEC officials arrived at 8:15 am. But at the PU:12 located at Area II junction, Mami Market in Nyanya, accreditation of voters is yet to start as at 8:40 am because officials arrived late.
At PU 015 in Karu Ward AMAC, officials arrived at 8:28 am.
At all the seven polling units located at Wuse zone 6 ward, accreditation was yet to commence as at 8:48 and voters reacted angrily when the INEC officials announced that the process of accreditation will be done alphabetically instead of the basis of first come, first to vote.
However, despite the rather slow process, many of the voters say they are committed to exercising their civic responsibilities and that they will stay and vote no matter how long it takes.