Nigerians hit by failures in new election technology return to the polls today, to allow them vote in the country’s presidential election.
President Goodluck Jonathan — who is running against former military ruler, Gen Mohammed Buhari — and at least three governors from his ruling party were among those whose bio-metric details could not be checked by the devices, which are designed to combat electoral fraud.
Instead, they had to be processed by hand. Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) called it a “huge national embarrassment” and a “vindication” of their position against the technology”.
“There should have been a test-run for a smaller election before deploying it for an election of this magnitude,” said Jonathan’s presidential campaign spokesman Femi Fani-Kayode.
Buhari, Jonathan’s main opponent whose All Progressives Congress (APC) party had backed the voter identity card readers, however, suggested the row was overblown.
INEC chairman Attahiru Jega told NTA state television in an interview on Saturday night that what happened to Jonathan was “regrettable and a national embarrassment”.
But he added that “in general, we believe that in spite of the challenges things have gone very well” and that turn-out was “quite large”.