Three Voter Card Readers Fail to Accredit Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan's accreditation on Saturday for the presidential election was delayed as three card readers failed to capture his biometric details.

Jonathan, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, who arrived at the Otazi playground polling centre in his home town, Otueke, Bayelsa State, with his wife, at exactly 9:22 am, could not be accredited till after 10:00 am.

However, the same card reader had accredited some other voters before the President.

While waiting for a fourth card reader, a visibly sweating Jonathan urged Nigerians to be patient and ensure they all voted.

Calling the inability to be accredited a little delay, Jonathan told journalists that the elections nationwide should not be viewed through the perspective of only one incident of failed card reader.

Jonathan said: "President Jonathan is just one person, so if we have problem with one person, as far as the elections is going on well nationally.

"I’m not worried, there might be a delay, my interest is that we conduct a credible election.

"What I want to know is that what is happening across the country."

Jonathan, who also placed a call through to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, to find out what is happening nationwide, added: "I want to use this opportunity to commend Nigerians and congratulate them for coming out to elect the next President, Senators and House of Representatives.

"There maybe issues, but this is the first time we are using this technology of voters card and card readers, I just spoke with the INEC Chairman to know what is happening across the country, President Jonathan is just one voter so even if we have problems with my own card, as long as nationally the process is going on well.

"They may be  a way to resolve the hitches but my interest is for us to conduct a peaceful and credible elections and i believe that no matter the hitches.

"Nigeria elections is an election that the whole world is interested in and my conviction is that the election should go on."

There had been complaints in various parts of Lagos concerning the challenges being faced by voters as well as the late commencement of the accreditation.

 Mr. Ima  Niboro,Director General of the News Agency of Nigeria, said he spoke with the Chairman of the INEC Professor Attahiru Jega, who he said gave approval for President Jonathan to be accredited “based on the register”.

Kaduna State :

Sambo's Accreditation Delayed by Late Arrival of Electoral Materials

In Kaduna, officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are yet to arrive  Vice President Namadi Sambo's polling unit with election materials

But security men and several aides of the Vice President were already on ground expecting INEC officials to arrive for accreditation of the Vice President.

Already some of the voters who are waiting patiently for INEC officials to come for the accreditation scheduled to commence at 8am are becoming apprehensive  and worried as nobody is telling them the reason for the delay.

As at 11:00 am when this story was being filed , it was observed that large number of voters trooped out impressively  for the accreditation at the Kabala Doki , Ward 5 polling unit , but the delay in the arrival of election materials  is stirring up tension.

However, in other polling units visited within  Kaduna metropolis earlier, INEC officials have arrived with materials and have commenced accreditation process.

At WAFF Road, an accredited voted, Emmanuel Kyom  told correspondents that he was impressed with quick and orderly manner the card reader and INEC officials are conducting the accreditation exercise.

It was also noticed that heavily armed and battle ready soldiers and policemen were seen at flash points notorious for violence as early as 7am.

For now, the accreditation process in most places visited by are peaceful and voters are on queue waiting to for their turn.

Rivers State

The state is under siege as armed men take over the streets of Port Harcourt and other parts of the state, shooting sporadically for two days running. 

The Police in Rivers State in obvious connivance with the opposition PDP in the state have embarked on massive arrest of APC stalwarts in the state on trumped up charges.

The State Agent of the APC , Emma Deeyah was yesterday arrested at the state INEC office where he and others went for a briefing by INEC.

At GRA , close to the popular Casablanca area,  armed men opened fire shooting in the air while other road users abandoned their vehicles and ran for safety. This was about 6pm yesterday.

At Rumuigbo and Wimpy areas of Obio/Akpor LGA, home of the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Nyesom Wike, there were shootings by armed youths who were seen chanting'PDP'.

In Andoni, the home of the defected Deputy Gov. Tele Ikuru and Prince Uche Secondus, the National Dep Chairman of the PDP,  soldiers have taken over the place, intimidating supporters of the State Chairman of APC, Ibiamu Ikanya who is also from the area.

As at 5am today,  at Obelle in Emohua LGA, police men were knocking on the doors of APC members to arrest them.

The fear of arrest as well as the presence of these armed men has contributed to the apathy that is witnessed now in the state.

As at press time,, voting materials are yet to arrive  in all the 17 wards of Obio/Akpor LGA, home of Nyesom Wike and Tony Okocha who is the candidate of the APC for Obio/Akpor federal constituency.  He is Amaechi's Chief of Staff after Wike

Edo State:

Army Stops Journalist  from Travelling in Benin, Edo State

Operatives of Nigerian Army have begun what many are describing as the systematic intimidation of Nigerian journalists on Saturday morning in Benin, Edo State.

Journalists who set out to monitor the presidential and national assembly elections were barred from moving in their private vehicles by soldiers who insisted that they could only commute in official cars.

Gabriel Ordia of Galaxy TV and his crew were turned back from travelling to Edo Central senatorial district.

As at the time of filing this report, the Public Relations Offi‎cer of 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army in Benin, Captain Abubakar Abdulahi, who was called for intervention, promised to talk to the military operatives.

Some members of the public are however sceptical that ‎the presence of the military operatives could intimidate electorates from coming out to exercise their franchise.

Card Reader: Oyegun, Others Yet to be Accredited

It appears the failure of INEC’s card readers to function is not isolated in Edo south senatorial district alone, as accreditation of eligible voters is underway in Edo central and north part of state.

All polling units in Edo south are‎ yet to be accreditation of eligible voters as at 11:00 am.

National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Odigie Oyegun, who arrived at Ward 2 Unit 2 located in the premises of Civil Service Training School, GRA, by 11 am, was told by INEC staff that the the card readers were not functioning.

Addressing the press, Chief Oyegun called on the people to remain calm and wait peacefully, hoping that the situation will be resolved as soon as possible.

“We are keeping an eye on the situation. We will not allow the people to be deprived the opportunity to express their will," Oyegun said.

"I have heard that it is a generalised problem in Edo south. Messing up the process in Edo south will ‎be messing up the result in Edo state.

"If it is a genuine technical problem which we hope will be resolved in a matter of minutes, because Edo south constitute 56 percent of the population of the state."

The process of accreditation was already in progress at Ward 7 Units 1 to 39, located inside Ologbosere Primary School, Upper Sakponba as the card reader issue was already resolved.

Rev. Eta Okon, confirmed that the card reader actually failed to work initially but that the issue has been resolved and he has been accredited.

Enugu & Gombe State : Bomb Blast Rocks Polling Unit in Enugu, Gombe

The entire Enugu State was thrown into panic on Saturday as an improvised explosive devices loaded in the white-coloured Honda car with registration number: KU J971 ABJ went off at a polling unit inside WTC primary school while accreditation of voters commenced on Saturday.

Nobody died in the incident, but it was learnt that the driver of the bomb-laden car got injured, but how he was evacuated from the car remains a mystery to security operatives at the scene.

The security operatives also said there were some unexploded explosives inside the car.

As at the time of filling this report, Police anti-bomb squad were at the scene trying to defuse  the remaining unexploded bombs.

Prior to the explosion, it was learnt that the security operatives had defused two bombs at about 9.05 am.

As a result of this incidents, many residents have returned home in order to save their lives as they expressed fears that more of such incidents could be experienced.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Dan Bature, who visited the scene with top officers of the Force and journalists, advised residents not to panic as the Police was in control.

Journalists were however barred from taking photographs of the scene.

In the Gombe incident, it was learnt that the explosive was planted in one of the polling units.

Witnesses said one person was killed in the incident, but it is not known if the victim was a suicide bomber.


APC raises alarm over use of FG facility in Lagos

The APC has raised the alarm over suspicious, election-related activities being carried out at the Federal Government Press on Mobil Road, opposite Coca Cola, at Ajegunle, Lagos. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said workers at the facility were sent home early on Friday, apparently so it can be made ready for use today (Saturday, March 28th) for a ‘presidency’ assignment. ”A concerned Nigerian alerted us to these developments, and we wonder what a federal government facility can be needed for on election day if it is not part of the facilities designated by INEC for election collation purpose. ”We are therefore compelled to alert the security agencies to urgently put the Federal Government Press at Mobil Road in Lagos under surveillance, with a view to stopping any possible illegal activities that may be going on there on this election day.” APC said with the avowed desperation of the PDP to capture Lagos State at all cost, it cannot be trusted not to resort to underhand activities to manipulate the polls in the state, hence the alarm.


PDP Agent Arrested in Ikorodu For Possessing Spy Cameras

APC Agents Without Tags denied Entry to Polling Area

One of the agents of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Igbogbo area of Ikorodu Division has been arrested with a spy camera.

The cameras were hidden in his sunglasses and ball point pens.

Except in exceptional cases authorised by the appropriate quarters, the use of cameras at polling centres goes contrary to electoral laws.

Concerns have been raised by many that this rule is widely being broken.

Meanwhile, agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in polling booth 001, Ikorodu are not being allowed in the polling booth because they are not in possession identification tags.

Some of the agents, however are presenting letters of confirmation of their status, but officials insiste that they must produce identification tags.

The same situation is occurring in Cele area of Ikorodu Division where party agents without identifications are also sent out.

As at 10:30 am, accreditation had not commenced in a lot of places in Ikorodu as some of the smart card readers for the accreditation had not been programmed for the process.

In Aga and Borokini areas, all the card readers have failed and accreditation is terribly slow in the area.

Blockage of APC leaders phone lines

The opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) party said the phone lines of key APC leaders have been bombarded with calls from an unknown number with a view to rendering them useless on election day. The calls, which started in the early hours of Saturday, were so persistent that genuine calls could not come in while no calls could be made from the phone lines.

17 card readers stolen in Imo

Security was beefed up at both the INEC headquarters along Port Harcourt Road, Owerri by soldiers who cordoned the area after violence erupted by some youths who protested what they alleged as missing 17 Card Reader Machines in the area.

Borno State


Vehicles, Houses torched as PDP, APC clash, in Borno

Over 250 PDP and APC members and supporters in Borno state clashed at Marama town in Hawul Local Government Area of state, torching several houses and vehicles over an alleged “importation of Boko Haram insurgents” to disrupt elections in the state. The clash was triggered when the PDP supporters alleged that one of the Borno state commissioners stormed southern Borno with armed APC thugs to allegedly disrupt the elections. The two sides clashed with dangerous weapons, burning each other’s’ flags, posters and party buildings, including two Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) of the council chairman and the alleged Borno commissioner. It took the deployment of soldiers from Biu town to intervene and quell the bloody clash that did not result into loss of lives, as the wounded were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Gombe for treatment..


Voting postponed in two LGAs in Delta

Voting was postponed in Ethiope Federal constituency comprising Ethiope East and West Local Government Areas of Delta State because of inadequate supply of voting materials. The distribution of voting materials by the Warri office of INEC ended at 8.20am.


Man arrested for Distributing Stolen PVCs in Ebonyi

A man identified as Ozoemena Odenta was arrested by police in Ikwo Division of Ebonyi state for allegedly distributing stolen PVCs in Ekawoke ward in the area. The suspect was accused to have stolen the cards, numbering over 300, from INEC officials during the last distribution exercise and disappeared, only to resurface on the election day with the cards, which he distributed based on his discretion to his loyalists.