The Benue State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Nentawe Goshwe, on Sunday said presidential and National Assembly elections are currently holding in five units in three local government areas of the state.
Benue State has 23 LGAs.
He identified the five polling units to include two polling units in Oturkpo LGA, one polling unit in Apa LGA and two polling units in Ogbadibo LGA.
In an interview in Makurdi, he also stated that the smart card readers malfunctioned in the affected areas.
According to him, the elections are in accordance with the Electoral Guideline.
He also said it was possible that some ad hoc staff did not know very well how to use the smart card readers, adding that the training was too short to acquaint all of them with the required skills and knowledge.
He said, “I would not be surprised (that some ad hoc staff did not know how to use the card readers well) because we had training of 22,000 ad-hoc staff in few days. So few days to train those number of staff to acquire the skill and knowledge this period is huge and we are expecting to use the corpers as major people to do it because we have been doing training with corpers for some time, we expected them to play a lead role in handling our card readers. Unfortunately most local government and communities the corpers do not go there because of the crisis we have in the state, because of fear of attacks, some corpers do not go to some localities.
“We got five places that we could not hold elections yesterday because as at 2pm, card readers had not functioned. So we shifted elections by 24 hours according to the guidelines provided by the Electoral Guidelines. The places elections are holding are two units in Oturkpo, one in apa and two in Ogbadibo.”
Goshwe also confirmed that collation and announcement of results at the INEC state headquarters in Makurdi had yet to commence even by 1.20pm on Sunday. According to him, the delay could be attributed to the enormity of work needed to record results of about 72 candidates who, he said, participated in the Saturday’s elections.
He said, “We have 72 contestants to this position compared to the last election. We had less than half of that as contestants for that election. So you require more than twice the time to make entries. So the delay should be possible.”