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 that 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 Oclock 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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