February 26, 2019 0 Comments

My name  is  Obilor Gracecliff , I registered  my Permanent voters card in the area where I live, Umuahia North Local Government Area in Abia  State.

I stepped  out from my apartment  as early as  8:00am, on reaching the polling unit, The INEC officials are yet to arrive at the  station , so many people  were there to perform their  Civic Obligations too but they were very disappointed because the  materials  for  the  Voting Exercise were not  there. We had to wait till 11:32am before they could arrive and they started arranging themselves until 12:00noon by then people got so angry and depressed that some left for their
homes. My Unit was  for  people with code 026 and 027 on their cards, but the INEC Officials said  that the  materials for 027 is not ready yet, Hence, the party agents got offended and I was  worried, when I tried speaking to few people I found  out  their grievances are channeled  towards  the INEC Officials for  telling us that they are ready but at the end of the  day they were not. Finally the INEC
Officials decided that those with Card Code 026 will start, when the officials with Card Code 027 materials come they can start. We started, ALAS; I observed that since morning they came, it have been one Policeman and a police woman securing the place together with a pregnant Civil Defense Woman and her Colleague (all Unarmed). I was Shocked and I kept wondering why women should be used for Security in such places.

Voting  started at about 12:30pm with people fighting and arguing about their positions in the  queue, hence  giving  the impression of  a  zero security to guide the people or  direct them on what to do, the most depressing aspect of this is the Card Reader could not  verify the finger prints of most of  the  voters/individuals.
After wasting  time  on the  Card  Reader queue and top it  all it failed  also to verify your  finger print, you now  have  to go back to the queue for checking it manually and it is a fresh queue where you have to stand under the hot sun again.
After much Arguments  and Fights from people around, I  made  my  way to the Card Reader queue and when it  got  to my turn, I became a victim of those, whose Finger Prints  could  not  be  verified  by the  Card Reading Machine, I was  made  to  go to another queue to verify it manually  which I did with  grief because  I  have to struggle, shout  and  fight until I am being attended to, after which I found my name, was verified and given a ballot paper, the most shocking thing about this  whole experience was  that the whole polling booth in 026 shares just one inkpad, Then when I was given the ballot paper I had to walk around the  unit with some other people to look for the person with the  inkpad, and  when we find  it, we will then move back to where the ballot boxes are to cast our  votes. I casted my votes, I  performed  my Civic Obligation, as  at 5:00 O’clock pm the INEC Officials arrived with the  materials for individuals with Card number 027 after which they arranged  themselves as usual and voting commenced  for 027 card  holders, by that time some individuals have already gone home in  anger; because  there  was  a climatic change, But some individuals were willing to  stay irrespective  of the  weather , these individuals stayed till 8:30pm, saying  that their votes must count. But the  worst of it  all is  that I observed that No INEC Vehicle was inside  the  premises, No Security was there around 8:30pm, only  few thugs smoking weeds and  some party agents making trouble and fighting  here and there over the issue of counting votes. So many people left the arena for their safety, while some people regretted ever coming out from the confines of their homes to meet the trouble of those thugs in the Polling Station. Meanwhile I left the arena for my own safety because it is so ungodly to be there at that point in time. Voting continued in many polling units on the 24th of February, on a Sunday, those who did not vote on Saturday, had the opportunity to do so.

MY OBSERVATIONS HEREIN SO MANY THINGS

Most of the INEC Adhoc Officials and Youth Corpers were not trained properly.

The Card Readers disappointed

The INEC Officials were not prepared and organized.

The Security Standard was on a zero level

 

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