BVAS prevents Dogara, wife, others from voting in Bauchi
The Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) has prevented accreditation of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, his wife Gimbiya and hundreds of registered voters in the Presidential and National Assembly Elections in Bauchi State.
Dogara who spoke of his frustration with journalists at polling unit 008 in his hometown of Gwarangah, faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for not providing an alternative to BIVAS.
The former Speaker, who said he arrived his polling unit with his wife around 10:00 am but was unable to vote even as at 230 pm at the time of this report, expressed frustration that he alongside his wife and thousands of registered voters were unable to be accredited to vote because of rejection by BIVAS.
“People started trooping in, a total number of 1938 registered voters since 6:00 am,” he said.
“Unfortunately, 80 percent of them have not been able to cast their votes since since morning and if you ask me why l don’t understand myself,” Dogara stated.
“I came here since morning and was told that the only BIVAS that was functioning in a polling unit that holds 1938 registered voters couldn’t capture my own. Therefore l sought to know why.
“They told me that l was on another BIVAS so l went to the INEC office in Bogoro to find outout. The EO told me there was a problem with BIVAS and they have gone to Tafawa Balewa, a distance of about 12 kilometres to get another BIVAS”
The former Speaker, his wife and other registered voters were waiting to no avail as INEC failed to accredit them to vote, with many in scorching sun.
“I don’t want to speculate. I don’t want to say it’s deliberate, maybe they want to disenfranchised some people in Gwarangah polling unit but it appears that is the case,” Dogara said.
“INEC told us that these BIVAS can even work in unconventional location where you don’t even have a network with hotspot you can tap perform the accreditation and so on but you can see a lot of people are here. I have been here since 10 am with my PVC I have not even done accreditation.
“The only comforting news from the EO is that whosoever is on the queue they will ensure that even if it is 8:00 pm.tbey stay and vote but the point is can you actually keep.people for more than 12 hours in the polling units an ask them to vote? So you can see the price we are paying for democracy. And because we are good citizens, we know our civic responsibility And inspite of the sun people are queing under the sun but it seems their noble intentions are not being well appreciated”
Hundreds of registered voters , mostly women and youth wore gloomy faces as they wait for the problem to be sorted out.
A presiding officer in the polling unit 007 Gwarangah said for a total number of 1938 registered voters, four BIVAS machines should serve.
The officer who pleaded anonymity, explained that only one BIVAS machine is inadequate to cover the polling unit and expressed fear that many registered voters might be disenfranchised.
Dogara, his wife and hundreds of stranded registered voters were still waiting to be accredited at about 3:00pm