An Udenu LGA-based medical doctor, Dr Offordile Fabian Onah, has expressed sadness after he failed to exercise his franchise during the presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25, 2023.
According to him, the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System machine rejected him ten times at his Obodo Ozalla polling unit in Udenu LGA of Enugu State despite his being duly registered at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission located at Udenu.
He told newsmen at Asaba Ozalla that, “BIVAS couldn’t recognise my face. My finger prints, both left and right, were all rejected. Nothing was recognised. They didn’t give me any reason, except that I couldn’t vote. I never registered twice.”
He added that he was not annoyed as it could have been caused by network issues.
Quoting him, “I am not holding any bad feelings against anybody because electronically anything can happen. It has happened in my own case, and I thank God for that. No explanation was provided as to what happened.”
An official of INEC, who did not want his name mentioned, however, blamed hurried training of INEC ad-hoc staff for such occurrence. He said there is provision to accommodate such case.
According to him, “Some of the cases could be a result of old age. Some of them have their thump prints defaced. In that case, the BIVAS might be unable to capture them because it is biometrics. Some have dried palms.
“It is because of such cases that eligible voters were asked to update their records with INEC to avoid data variations ahead of these elections. Some people did not take it seriously. Those who updated won’t have this case. But then the photo capture should be able to solve that case.
“But then INEC has provisions for such, only that some of the ad-hoc staff did not get the training properly. The officials ought to have checked such persons’ information on the database. If the information is there, they should be eligible to vote. But some of the ad-hoc staff did not get the comprehensive training because there was no time.”