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Nigeria Decides 2023: Absence of INEC officials, voting materials mark slow start to election


In Ikotun, a densely populated suburb in Lagos State, voters have eagerly awaited officials from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to arrive at their polling stations.

The voters, who have been patiently waiting since early morning, looked frustrated as no INEC officials were in sight.

Some voters arrived at polling stations as early as 7 a.m., hoping to be cleared before the official voting time of 8.30 a.m.

However, as at 9.10am, there was still no sign of the INEC officials, causing some voters to express frustration.

One voter said, “I have been here since 7 am, and it’s now almost 9.30 am. We are getting tired and hungry. We want to vote, but we can’t do anything until the officials arrive.

Another voter expressed concern about the delay, saying, “I hope this delay doesn’t affect the credibility of the election. INEC needs to be more organized and efficient in their planning.”

Nigerians on microblogging site,Twitter, also complain about the late arrival of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission {INEC} in today’s election.

This is despite repeated assurances by INEC that it was ready for today’s election.

A twitter user, @ErnestFc4, twitting from Suleja, Niger State, wrote: “We are yet to see inec officials here in iku south 2, suleja local government Niger state. It’s past 9am, while @adeolujumo, twitting from Ilorin, Kwara State, wrote “Voting is yet to commence here in ilorin kwara state as inec officials came to Galadima Village polling unit 004 very late.”

Another Twitter user, @MuyhyAdex, wrote: “INEC officials are yet to arrive Pegi Resettlement Site, KUJE as at 9:28am” while @ugyvishnay, tweeting from Abuja complained that “At Prince and Princess Est voting is yet to commence. No sign of INEC officials yet!”

@BlessedOgochuku from Anambra state, wrote “Have been at my polling unite 7am. No INEC officials. Hmmm. Me I go nowhere. If una like make una come by 6pm. I de kamkpe. Una no fit deprive me this opportunity to take back my country. NEVER! Channels please help us call out INEC officials in Anambra State, Aguata II, Kinda”

Also tweeting in the same vein, @python_1111 from Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos, wrote: “Inec officials have failed to arrive in all polling units in Amuwo Odofin Lagos. Inec will be declaring war in Lagos if they are used to disenfranchised voters in Lagos. People are already boiling. @inecnigeria be warned people are already boiling in Lagos.”

By 11am, the polling station at the Jalala primary health centre in Ilorin had not yet opened.

Some of the voters waiting to cast their ballots were leaving. “It’s my first election and I always believed that INEC was right to complain about low voter turnout,” said Akinwale Akindayo.

Despite the delay, the voters remained optimistic and determined to exercise their civic duty. They say they will wait as long as it takes for the officials to arrive and for the election to proceed.


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