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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Anambra Polls: Ngige, Soludo Slams INEC over Faulty Card Readers

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, on Saturday, faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the malfunctioning of the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS).

The machines failed to work in many units, leaving voters stranded.

The machine could not capture Dr Ngige in Alor Ward 1 Polling Unit for over an hour.

He feared the failure of the technology could disfranchise over 35 per cent of voters in his ward.

The former governor said INEC should not keep such equipment for too long in the warehouse.

Ngige is optimistic that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would be victorious at the end of the election.

Soludo, who was also kept waiting in his unit, described the BIVAS technology as a complete failure.

He said: “I kept getting calls all over the state about the breakdown of the BIVAS machine.

“Two fundamental points are that the technology has collapsed. This BIVAS technology is a complete failure so far.

“By 12.30 in the day, voting is yet to start in most polling units in the state.

“In a few places where they’re going on, the technology that I understand does not take seconds, now takes 20 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes or more.

“With the crowd that you can find here, I mean hundreds of people, even if the machines start working now, and it takes a minute to accredit each person, you are not going to finish this crowd today.

“It raises fundamental questions about the technology. I’m quite a bit shocked to learn that this is happening all over the state.

“I’ve been getting calls from virtually every local government without exception about the glitches and the fact that people are not voting.

“Places where you have 800 Orr 900 people, you could probably have five or six that have voted so far.

“Maybe, we will keep being optimistic that it is going to be fixed. So far, we have been here for 20 minutes but the technicians have been fiddling with it but no way.”

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