Bayelsa: Observers complain of limited BVAS machine deployment, barricade by militants in Nembe, Brass

As Bayelsa State gears up for today’s governorship election, troubling reports have emerged from Basambiri communities in Nembe Local Government, where members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and election observers are alleging being denied access to the communities and polling locations.

Additionally, concerns have been raised over the non-deployment of Biometric Verification and Authentication System (BVAS) machines in numerous polling units across Nembe and Brass Local Governments.

Members of the PDP, as well as election observers, have reported being prevented from entering Basambiri communities in Nembe Local Government, casting a shadow of doubt on the fairness and transparency of the election process in the area.

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 they describe as an “unprecedented act of intimidation” aimed at suppressing the party’s participation in the electoral process.

The grThe’s 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.

An election observer who doesn’t want to be named because of his safety, 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 about 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 in accordance with 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.



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