What was supposed to be a day of voting conducted within a ten-hour period on Saturday March 28, has extended to a second full day because technological difficulties with the advanced biometric card reader system the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has used to prevent voter fraud. Despite the glitches, Nigerians were in high spirits today, as they took to their various polling units to vote after many months of election-related tensions.
The first major indication of technological glitches surfaced when sitting President Goodluck Jonathan attempted to get accredited. The president, along with his wife and mother, were unable to get accredited despite using four different card reader machines to scan their personal voters cards and thumbprints. After over 30 minutes of delay, the president was manually accredited.
The same situation occurred in multiple parts of the country, especially in certain parts of Lagos where INEC officials arrived at their stations as late as 1pm. There are reports that by 6:35 pm, the polling activities were only just beginning at certain polling stations in Magodo, Lagos State. Reports also indicate that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State sits on the list of prominent Nigerians unable to vote due to technological glitches.
In Kano State, reports indicate that even the Emir of Kano was unable to vote, another reason the extension of the voting period became necessary.
However, other regions of the country conducted their polling seamlessly. General Muhammadu Buhari, the leading opposition candidate, arrived at a polling unit close to his home in Daura, Katsina State to vote at 4:58pm. He was done within 10 minutes.
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By Emmanuel Iruobe