It was at unit 13, Ward 39 in Otuoke, Bayelsa.
INEC officials arrived the scene at about 8:30am, Saturday morning. No one was registered until the president arrived at 9:17am to get registered for the election. Walking beside him was his wife , Mrs Patience Jonathan. And as the president stepped forward to be registered, the malfunctioning began. One card reader froze, a second couldn’t recognise the first citizen’s thumb print. The situation had started to look a bit awkward, a third card reader was quickly brought to work and again, it faltered.
At this point, the voters, observers and even the press…everyone was standing on their toes. Mr President left the scene temporarily as INEC officials scurried speedily to find a solution. The president then arrived the unit yet again and so did the fourth card reader. The exercise started as everyone held their breathe once more, only this time, it was greeted with a sigh of relief as Jonathan got lucky and was successfully registered.
This initiated a spontaneous applause from the watching crowd which elicited smiles from the president and his wife.
” I want to use the opportunity to congratulate Nigerians as we vote in a president. There may be issues, because this is the first time we are using this technology,” the president had begun to address the press.
“I had issues but it’s been sorted, I can’t be a ghost voter (he laughs, so did everyone present), I am not worried. There may be a delay, but I encourage nigerians to conduct a credible and peaceful elections. If I can endure, I plead with all Nigerians.”