Bayelsa: Group demands unimpeded Polling Units access for voters

An election observer group, the Bayelsa People’s Assembly BPA has demanded unimpeded access for voters seeking to exercise their franchise in the ongoing governorship election in the state.
The group said it received troubling reports from Basambiri communities in Nembe Local Government, where members of a political party and election observers alleged being denied access to the communities and polling locations.

Additionally, the group also raised concerns over the non-deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System BVAS machines in numerous polling units across Nembe and Brass Local Governments.

The alleged restriction of access raises concerns about the ability of voters to freely exercise their democratic rights in Basambiri.

The Bayelsa Peoples Assembly BPA in a statement expressed deep concerns over what it described as an “unprecedented act of intimidation” aimed at suppressing the people’s participation in the electoral process.

The statement signed by Kenneth Ikurite called on relevant authorities, including the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC and security agencies, to intervene and ensure that all eligible voters, regardless of party affiliation, have unimpeded access to polling units.

He said, “BVAS machines play a crucial role in the verification of voters through biometric data, enhancing the credibility of the electoral process. Reports indicate that voters in affected areas are being subjected to manual verification, raising questions about the efficiency and accuracy of the process.

“The absence of BVAS machines has led to calls for urgent intervention by INEC to address the situation and ensure that the election is conducted by established electoral guidelines.

“As of now, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has not released an official statement addressing the specific issues raised in Basambiri communities and the reported non-deployment of BVAS machines.

“With the voting process already underway, these emerging issues in Basambiri communities and concerns about BVAS machine deployment highlight the need for swift and thorough intervention by electoral authorities to uphold the integrity of the governorship election in Bayelsa State. All eyes remain on INEC and security agencies to address these challenges and ensure a credible electoral process.”

The Head of voter Education and Publicity at the INEC office in Bayelsa state, Wilfred Ifogah was not immediately available for comments.




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