From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
There was confusion in some polling units on Saturday during the conduct of the by-election for the Isoko South Constituency I seat of the Delta State House of Assembly.
The confusion resulted from the failure of the Bimodal Voters’ Accreditation System (BVAS) deployed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the election.
But for the BVAS failure in some units, which was a test run for the electoral umpire, the by-election was adjudged to be generally peaceful by stakeholders.
The election also witnessed an impressive turnout of voters across several units and wards in the constituency.
At Oleh, the council headquarter, some presiding officers including Tope Adido, Aisha Turayo, Nnamdi Okolo complained that the machine had difficulties capturing the thumbs and faces of some of the voters, especially the aged.
Also, party agents Emmanuel Akpor of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mosis Lagos of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Anthony Ejome of the All Progressive Congress (APC) said there was no incidence form or similar alternative for those whose facials and thumbs were not captured by the BVAS machine.
Regardless of the shortcomings, the candidate of the PDP, Mr Evivie Ovuakpoye, who spoke with reporters, said he preferred the new mode of voter accreditation.
APC candidate Dr Ogaga Ifowodo commended INEC for its attempts to enhance the integrity of the voting process, even though he admitted that the new technology needed improvements if it must be sustained.
The state coordinator of civil societies, Okeze Odughala, affirmed the tranquillity and credibility of the elections and commended INEC for introducing BVAS which he said ‘had no technical issues in his unit.’
The by-election was occasioned by the death of the former representative of the area, Kenneth Ogba of the PDP.