The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says thugs snatched eight of its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in Delta and Katsina States in the ongoing presidential and National Assembly elections.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this while briefing journalists on the ongoing general elections on Saturday in Abuja.
He, however, said the snatched BVAS were immediately replaced for the election to continue, while security agencies later recovered three.
Mr Yakubu said in the Oshimili Local Government Area of Delta, thugs attacked polling units, during which two BVAS machines were lost.
“Again, determined that the election must continue, we were able to replace the stolen machines, restore security, and voting continued in that location.
“Similarly, in the Safana LG area of Katsina state, thugs attacked one voting location and snatched six of our BVAS machines,” Mr Yakubu said.
The INEC boss said the commission could not deploy early in the Alawa and Shiroro local government areas due to bandits’ attack.
“For instance, we couldn’t deploy early in Alawa in Shiroro LGA of Niger State because bandits launched an attack, not necessarily on INEC officials, within the area.
“So, on the advice of security agencies, we tarried awhile, and I’m happy to say that we are able to deploy and voting in that location is ongoing as we speak.“
On the functionality of BVAS, the INEC chairman said that the device has been performing optimally.
He linked the inability to commence the election at 8:30 a:m. in some polling units to perennial problems of logistics and insecurity.
Mr Yakubu, however, assured Nigerians that no voter would be disenfranchised because of that.
He said there were also unfolding situations in Abia and Imo states.
“The commission is aware, and we are assuring voters in Abia that no matter how late we deploy to the polling units, if voters are on the queue before 2:30 p.m., they will vote no matter how long it takes.
“We are also aware of the situation in Imo, in respect of four LGAs — Okigwe, Oguta, Osu, and Olu.
“There were issues in all 11 wards in the whole of Osu. In the whole of Orlu, six wards out of 11. In the case of Okigwe, five wards out of 11. In the case of Oguta, it is more widespread,” Mr Yakubu added.