The Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Philip Aduda, has decried the alleged low-performance Biomodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) hoping it is not a ploy to shortchange some people.
Senator Aduda spoke shortly after casting his ballot at Polling Unit 004, adjudged the exercise at his polling unit as calm and seamless, said he was dissatisfied with the performance of the BVAS machines across several area councils.
“The voting here has been okay. You can see that I just came to get accredited and I have voted. But from all indications, and from what I am hearing, there are problems with the BVAS machine.
“I don’t know whether it is deliberate, I don’t know what is happening but these are issues that we must immediately look at. There are pockets of complaints in places like Garki, Kubwa in Bwari Area Council, Kuje, Kwali and Abaji, so it is not like one-off, but plenty and multiple. These are issues that I want Nigerians to know that yes, BVAS is being used but I hope it will not be used against us” he said.
Also, Ezenwa Nwagwu, a board member of YIAGA Africa, rated the punctuality index low saying voters did not turn up early at most of the polling stations he visited.
Nwangwu, said that generally, the election was rife with open demand for money by voters, stressing that the development does not augur well for the development of the country’s democracy.
“Generally, the conduct has been going peacefully except for the rowdiness that you orchestrated by the use of money which does not augur well for the way we want to build this democracy,” he said.
He, however, said BVAS performed well in most places he visited, but admitted that it is difficult to give a bird’s eye view assessment at the time, unless at the data centre where one could get an overview of what had happened across the council areas.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly sign the Electoral Amendment Bill, adding that Nigeria cannot surrender her democracy to technology.
“I have seen naked demand for money. But I have not seen open giving. I have seen people literally demand money, that if they are not given money, they will not proceed to vote,” he said
Our Correspondent who monitored the elections in Karu ward, Abuja Municipal Area Council, (AMAC), reports that the exercise was marked by low turnout and voter apathy.
As of 9.13 am voting materials were yet to arrive in Polling Stations, units O35, 004, 036, 022, and O23, among others, all within Karu ward.
It was observed that at Polling Unit 004, Senator Philip Aduda’s Polling Unit, where voting started at exactly 9.40 am, it was learnt that the number of registered voters are 2,850 while the number of ballot papers stood at 2800.
Unit 035, no single voter was seen at 10.34 am even though the election started at 8.30 am.
Also, at Polling Unit 036, a total number of accredited voters are seven while the ballot are eight each for Chairman and Councilor each, but as 10.34 am no voter had turned up although the officials were ready with all materials in place ready for voting exercise.
Generally, the atmosphere was calm and security arrangements were excellent as Police officers and officials of Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, and the Federal Road Safety Corps officials were seen in good numbers in all the Polling units visited.