Home » Elections 2011, INEC Politics » 1,393 DDC machines faulty in 14 states – Investigation

1,393 DDC machines faulty in 14 states – Investigation

THE ongoing voter registration, which entered its last week on Sunday, has so far recorded a huge number of faulty Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines across the states of the federation. Investigation by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that no fewer than 1,393 machines are dysfunctional in 14 states across the geopolitical zones.

The exercise began on a shaky note over two weeks ago, with faulty DDC machines, weak batteries, and epileptic biometric scanners identified as factors responsible for the slow start.

Nigerian Tribune checks also revealed that Lagos and Borno states recorded the highest of such faulty machines with over 500 and 205 cases respectively.

It was gathered that over 22 million voters had been registered in the 14 states. Lagos State ranked tops with a figure of about 4,512,517 voters, while each of the remaining states had less than two million voters.

The states are Taraba with 506,000 registered voters; Kebbi about 1,200,000 voters registered; Jigawa has recorded 1,600,000 voters so far; Sokoto, about 1,500,000 registered voters; and Borno, with about 1,200,000 voters registered.

Others include Niger State with 831,000 voters registered as of last Saturday; Katsina, 1,805,010 registered voters; Osun, 1,094,337 registered so far; Ogun, 1,300,000; and Benue State with about 700,000 voters.

Ekiti State has recorded 583,097 people so far; Delta State with over 1.2 million and Abia State has registered over one million voters.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos State, Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, said there were about 500 DDC machines that could be kept in the INEC office, adding that they had not been easily repaired.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune  on the progress made so far on the registration of voters, he said the INEC in Lagos State did not have any problem registering the eligible voters, because the INEC in the state had more than the required DDC machines and that  9,101 machines were supplied to the state, and there were only 8,455 registration units in the state.

Dr Ogunmola explained that the DDC machines supplied in excess made it easier for the commission to replace any faulty machine.

He noted that any machine that developed fault was repaired by the engineers, but those  ones that could not be easily repaired were replaced.

INEC in Katsina State confirmed the registration of 1,805,010, out of the projected 2.9million eligible voters in the state.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Wara, who disclosed this in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune in Katsina, said the balance of over one million voters would be covered before the expiration of the exercise this week.

Wara maintained that with the new arrival of 457 additional DDC machines, which had brought the total number to 5,263 machines available for use, the commission would be able to register all eligible voters in the state.

The INEC commissioner explained that, out of the initial number of 4,806 DDC machines received from its national headquaters in Abuja, only 20 were faulty and replaced, as they had been returned  to their various locations for the continuation of the exercise.

Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune also revealed that seven DDC machines had been declared missing by INEC in Niger State.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr Emmanuel Unucheyo, however, reported the disappearance of six machines to the police who had started investigating the matter, according to Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Oguche Richard Adamu.

Some INEC officials and staff of the information and communication technology firm that configured the DDC machines had been quizzed and released on bail by the police.

Similarly, 11 of the machines supplied to the state had been discovered to be faulty and were undergoing repairs.

INEC Public Affairs Officer, Alhaji Mohammed Wase, confirmed the story in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune.

In Kogi State, about 40 out of 2,700  DDC machines supplied were said to have been reported faulty.

It will be recalled that two local government areas, Bassa and Adavi, did not receive the machine for about a week after the exercise began before they were allocated to them last week.

The source further said that the crisis that rocked Kabba and environs affected the exercise in the area but said that the exercise was fully on in the affected areas now that normalcy had returned.

The Borno State controller of immigration, Alhaji Babayo Alkali,  said his men had made some arrests of eight persons from the neigbouring country, who came into the country or were resident in the country, but had gone to register in the ongoing voter registration.

According to him, “those of them that had registered and were out there would now be careful following the arrest of these eight persons, because we would be out there monitoring them during the election. We would continue to work to ensure that they don’t interfere with our elections in Nigeria, because it is not their business.”

Controller Alkali said that, they were aware that in other states, there were election monitoring teams to ensure the success and security of elections, “and in Borno we received an instruction that we should liaise with other agencies, particularly INEC, to establish a chapter, which is otherwise known as inter-agency consultative committee, for the success and security of election. Unfortunately, this did not happen and it is unfortunate, because it would have gone a long way in checkmating foreigners from registering and partaking in the general election.”

According to INEC in Maiduguri, the commission had received 4,338 DDC machines for the exercise in Borno State, which are currently being used for the voter registration, adding that, although a number of them became faulty during the course of the exercise. “The commission currently has about 205, which are faulty in some of them are in the process of being repaired and those that cannot be repaired would be taken back to the INEC headquarters in Abuja for possible replacement,” he said.

The administrative secretary said they had received reports of two stolen DDC machines during the course of the exercise, adding that one of the machines had been recovered, while the other was yet to be recovered.

The public affairs officer of INEC in Ogun State, Mr Ronald Dansu, said a total number of 1.3 million eligible voters had been registered in the ongoing exercise, out of 1.67 million projection.
Dansu added that with the extension of the exercise by one week, there was every possibility that the expected registrants were registered.

On the number of machines that were faulty in the course of the registration exercise, Dansu contended that there were no faulty machines in the state, saying that engineers of the companies that supplied the machines were on the ground to rectify any fault.

The Sokoto Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Mohammed Mahuta,  said since the commencement of the exercise, only a little over 100 DDC machines became completely faulty, as the commission was able to rectify most of the faults which had to do with the software of the machines.

“Everyday, we repair between 40 to 50 software problems at our Sokoto headquarters and the repair is mostly successful,” he added.

Mahuta said the commission was using the 226 extra DDC machines as back-up to the faulty ones that could not be repaired.

Exactly 114 DDC machines got spoilt in Jigawa State in the on going voter registration.

Reports from the state indicated that the state INEC office had received 3,527 machines.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune in Dutse, the state head of operation of the commission, Alhaji Yakubu Muhammed Doko, said  extra 264 machines had been allocated to the state.

According to the Kebbi State REC, Alhaji Kabiru Ahmed, 140 out of the 2,398 DDC machines received in the state  developed faults during the exercise, adding that it had not hindered the exercise in any way.

Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Abba Kyari Sadiq, disclosed during an interview with the Nigerian Tribune in Jalingo, at the weekend, that 81 of the machines were recorded faulty due to challenges encountered during commencement.

According to him, the commission was ensuring nobody was disenfranchised in the current exercise, adding that all the challenges arising during take-off had been put behind them.

In Abia State, more than one million people had been registered as at Sunday, January 30, by the state INEC.

Out of 2,885 DDC machines allocated to the state for the registration, 2,667 machines were being used for the exercise.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Mrs Maria Owi, has disclosed that 1,239,204 eligible voters had been captured in the state as at January 29, before the ongoing voter registration was extended by one week.

She expressed satisfaction with to turnout of Nigerians for the exercise in the state, adding that the projected number of voters expected in Akwa Ibom was about 1.7million.

Out of a total number of 3,206  machines supplied to the state, she said 121 of them were faulty.

In another development, two weeks after the machines were deployed by INEC to the three local government areas of Warri, Delta State, the machines had started breaking down in most of the riverine areas.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that machines developed problems resulting from the usage of the power backing system without any back-up chargers.

No fewer than two million eligible voters have, so far, been registered in the ongoing nationwide voter registration in Oyo State.

A source at the state INEC office, who pleaded for anonymity, told the Nigerian Tribune that as at last week, about 1.2 million people had registered.

When contacted, the state REC, Ayo Adakeja, said he could not confirm the figure since he was yet to collate all the figures from all the electoral officers in the state.

Also, 5, 142 machines were received by the INEC for the exercise in the state, while it was distributed to 4,783 centres in the state.

On the number of faulty machines, he said it was difficult to ascertain the exact number, adding that most of the faulty machines were repaired at the centres by the technicians.

Over 745,548 eligible voters have, so far, been registered in Edo State in the ongoing voter registration being conducted by the INEC.

The INEC distributed a total of 2,821 DDC machines in the state, which were distributed to the 2,629 polling units in the state.


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