*Get accreditation through ‘Incidence Form’
*His mother’s PVC successful
No fewer than four card readers rejected the Permanent Voter Cards of President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife Dame Patience and his mother, Eunice, during the accreditation of voters for Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections.
The four card readers deployed by INEC for the exercise at their Otuabula ward 13, polling unit 039, Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, malfunctioned whey they lined up to be accredited at 9:15am.
Several other voters who registered at the polling unit also suffered the same fate with members of the First family.
The electoral presiding officers and INEC officials present at the President’s polling unit, including the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Baritor Kpagih, Head of Public Affairs, Timidi Wariowei , battled with the first two card readers to no avail.
At some point, it was suggested that two fresh card readers be brought from the nearest polling unit within the ward to salvage the situation.
While his mother and his wife sat down on the plastic chairs provided for them, Jonathan remained standing, refusing to sit down.
It, however, turned awry for Jonathan and his wife as the two fresh card readers deployed as replacements for the malfunctioning ones also failed to capture their PVCs.
But his mother, Eunice, was lucky as the card reader accepted her PVC and she got accredited.
The President’s polling unit has 675 registered eligible voters. The election materials arrived the polling unit at 8:15am.
The accreditation did not begin at the polling unit until 9:15am when he and his family members reported for the exercise.
Although Jonathan tried to conceal the disappointment created in him by the card readers but his countenance betrayed the frustration generated in him by the faulty accreditation machines.
“I decided to come in a little late. I don’t need to be the first person to be accredited.
“You should have started by 8:am, you should have started”, he told the presiding officers at 9:30am.
At about 9:58am, the President answered a phone call asking the person at the other end, “I want to know what is happening across the country…”.
Findings showed that the person he had the conversation with was the national chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega.
After waiting for 45 minutes without being accredited with his wife, Jonathan moved out of the polling unit at 10am, accompanied by his wife. He never sat down.
In an interview with reporters, he acknowledged that there were challenges in their polling unit.
He remarked that the card readers did not accept his PVC, stressing that he would, nevertheless, be satisfied that the process went well across the nation even though he and his wife had problems undergoing the accreditation.
Jonathan said, “In my unit, we have problem with my own card. As long as nationally the process is going on well, it is okay. Definitely,they will sort out my own. I cannot be a ghost voter, everybody knows me.
“I am not worried. There may be a delay but I can’t speak for INEC. But my interest is that we conduct credible and peaceful election. We are totally committed to that.
“I believe that no matter the hitches, we will achieve credible election. I have got information that some states some voter cards were not there, like Jigawa. Elections may be delayed. For House of Reps, no voter cards…in Edo, I think Ethiope East or West, not general elections.
“Here directly, in my own polling unit, some of the cards are going through but my own and that of my wife and other persons have some problems. But they are sorting them. My conviction is that the election will go on smoothly.
“I am not worried. If I can endure, you can see me sweating, I plead with all Nigerians to be patient.
“As a nation,we can conduct an election that the whole world will accept, that is what we should all think about not what somebody or some individuals can pass through”.
However, at 11am, the President and his wife got accredited after filling the ‘Incidence Form’ provided by INEC following a phone conversation between Jega and Kpagih.