#NigeriaDecides: Persons on queue before 2:30pm will vote no matter how long it takes— INEC


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says all eligible voters in the queue before 2:30pm will exercise their franchise.


Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairperson, said this on Saturday while briefing journalists at the national collation centre in Abuja, on the ongoing general election.


When asked about reports on delayed voting in several locations, the INEC chair said no eligible voter will be disenfranchised.


“Yes, we opened some polling units late. And we admitted that in some places, some polling units were opened late but the system has an automatic mechanism to recover lost time,” he said.


 “We don’t start 8:30am and close 2:30pm on the dot. If we start later than 8:30am, whoever is on the queue before 2:30pm will vote, no matter how long it takes.


“So, no Nigerian will be disenfranchised on that score, provided he or she is at the polling unit before 2:30pm.”


Yakubu also said the commission is aware of the late deployment of materials to some polling units in Abia and Imo states.


He, however, assured Nigerians that elections in those locations will hold.


“There are unfolding situations in Abia and Imo states. In Abia, the deployment is taking place late to the polling units. The commission is aware and we are assuring voters in Abia state that no matter how late we deploy to the polling units, if voters are on the queue before 2:30pm, they will vote no matter how long it takes,” he said.


“We are also aware of the situation in Imo state, in respect of four LGAs — Okigwe, Oguta, Orsu, and Orlu.


“There were issues in all 11 wards in the whole of Orsu. In the whole of Orlu, six wards out of 11; in the case of Okigwe, five wards out of 11; and in the case of Oguta, it is more widespread.


 “I had a discussion with the inspector-general of police this morning and the military and our officials have been escorted to all four locations. I take it that voting would have commenced in some of these difficult places. But if it doesn’t, I will assure voters in those locations that elections will hold and they will not be disenfranchised.”

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