• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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APC, PDP, others threaten not to sign result sheet at Ward 008 Lugbe, Abuja

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Polling agents of four political parties have threatened not to sign the result sheet of Ward 008A, King of Kings Polling Unit, Lugbe, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) if Form EC8A is not shown to them before the commencement of voting.

This comes as voting has commenced as of 4:26pm.

Voters who spoke to BDSunday expressed dismay at late commencement of voting, attributing it to late commencement of accreditation which started at 11:35am.

One of the voters, Godfrey Eberere said he was at the Polling Unit as early as 7am, explaining that people may be disenfranchised if INEC officials do not step up their game.

Another voter, Idowu Peters complained that officials of the electoral body have been very slow.

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He said: “The voters who have been here since morning have conducted themselves very well. But the INEC officials have not stepped up to the expectation of people. First they came and they have been very slow. It’s as if they are not ready. And I must say the voters here organised themselves even before the INEC people came around. And they have kept to that level of organisation”.

Meanwhile, polling agents of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), Labour Party (LP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) have threatened not to sign the result sheet if Form EC8A is not shown to them, even as they queried electoral officials for not disclosing the total number of voters on the Incident Form.

This, they said, contravenes the electoral guidelines which says: “Where Form EC8A is not part of the materials brought to the Polling Unit, the agent must not allow voting process to take place until the Form EC8A meant for the Unit is produced. The Polling Agent must promptly inform the Control Centre of any anomaly.”

Total number of registered voters at the Polling Unit is 1,216.

APC Polling Agent, Hamzat Dhikrullahi said: “We have not seen the Form EC8A. And they said voting should continue and we said it’s an aberration. We have laid the complaint to them and they said we should bear with them; that they started late. But we said starting late is not the yardstick for us not to ascertain the certainty of the whole process before the commencement of voting”.

Others who spoke in the same vein include: Okechukwu Enock (PDP), Sunday Chukwu (LP) and Onyekachi Anowuru (APGA).

Commenting on the polls, a domestic observer, Fatima Yusuf Fuad of Al-Habibbiyah Islamic Society described the exercise as peaceful and orderly so far.

The observer who said she had so far visited Sunny Vail, Games Village, Kabusa, Wura, Lugbe Primary School, Lugbe Across, Lugbe Secondary School, Mr Biggs and King of Kings, however alleged that a supporter of PDP was giving N500 each to voters at Mr Biggs, Lugbe.

“At Mr Biggs, one man dressed in traditional attire was calling people, giving them N500 each, campaigning on the crowd to vote PDP. We have taken note and sent the message across. We called on security to get the man arrested and he ran away”, she told BDSUNDAY.

She also complained about late arrival of materials in some of the places she visited.

Also commenting on the conduct of the polls so far, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room – a coalition of over 60 civil society organisations – called on the electoral umpire to urgently look into the issues of late arrival of officials and election materials, process of accreditation, logistical lapses and  isolated security incidences.

A statement by the spokesperson of the group, Clement Nwankwo, in Abuja on Saturday, urged the electorate to remain law-abiding and refrain from any actions that may further challenge the electoral process.

“The Situation Room calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence immediate steps to rectify all operational and logistics lapses identified, and where elections have been postponed, these lapses should not be allowed to recur. We urge INEC and its staff to maintain the highest standards of professionalism in the conduct of the remaining parts of the general elections”, the statement read in part.
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE