Disenfranchised voters in Anguwan Sani polling Unit (011), Egwa-Gwada ward in shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, chased away officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), due to problems with card readers.
Their anger was that close to the 1pm deadline, only 15 voters had been accredited.
The residents claimed that INEC refused to send voting materials to the unit on the alleged ground that there were only 15 registered voters there.
The Electoral Officer in Shiroro LGA Isah Idakwo said the 15 people with PVCs at the unit mattered to the Commission adding that a vote could make the difference.
According to him “We sent our men there but they chased them away and we can’t afford to endanger any of our officials’ life.
“There is no immediate solution to that place for now, but we are trying to see how we can accommodate these people,” he told Daily Times.
“Our challenge now is that we have given the names of the 15 eligible voters to Stakeholders. We will find it extremely difficult to reverse the initial number because doing that will be flouting the electoral law.
“In Niger State, we have 20 polling units with same challenge, it is not peculiar to them alone. It is not our fault neither theirs. I will advise that the 15 people be allowed to vote because even only one vote can make a difference”.
He however said it was not a deliberate act, adding: “INEC sent workers there but they were sent back. If they change their minds, we will ask our workers to go back there and make sure the 15 people vote.”
Speaking to our Correspondent Youth Leader Mohammed Ibrahim Gwada said “we are surprised that only 15 PVCs were gotten from the second highest polling unit in Egwa-Gwada ward.
According to him: “When we came out this morning, we were surprised because there were no materials for us to exercise our rights with. We do not know why elections still won’t hold here. When I asked the Supervising Officer this morning why there were no materials, he said the ratio of the people that got PVCs was low and that INEC could not disenfranchise the remaining 948 eligible voters in the unit.
“We feel so bad now because we have been disenfranchised by INEC. We are not happy about it. We in Egwa-Gwada ward have the highest voters in Niger State.
“Kwakwa unit has the highest number of voters with 1,324. At the Rest House Polling Unit, in Egwa-Gwada ward of Shiroro Local Government Area, accreditation started exactly at 8:30am.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the development, the Head of Angwa Sani community, said: “INEC deceived us, they promised and assured us that they would bring our PVCs before election date but they have succeeded in disenfrachising us.”
He said that the community would embark on a protest to the INEC office.