Tech glitch prevents Nigerian President from voting

Nigeria`s President Goodluck Jonathan turned up Saturday to accredit himself and his wife Patience for his re-election bid but problems with new voting technology forced to him to temporarily abandon his plans.

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 28, 2015, 15:52 PM IST

Otuoke: Nigeria`s President Goodluck Jonathan turned up Saturday to accredit himself and his wife Patience for his re-election bid but problems with new voting technology forced to him to temporarily abandon his plans.

The incumbent leader, who is seeking a second term of office, arrived at his hometown polling station of Otuoke in southern Bayelsa state at about 0820 GMT to begin the accreditation process.

But handheld technology being used for the first time to "read" biometric voter identity cards apparently malfunctioned, forcing Jonathan to stand around in the scorching heat before leaving.

The 57-year-old, whose ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised concerns about the technology and election officials` ability to use it, acknowledged that "there may be an issue".

But he joked, "Maybe it`s me?" while calling for patience.

"If I can endure, you see my sweat? I plead with all Nigerians to be patient, no matter the pains we take," he told reporters outside the polling station.

"It`s the first time we are using this technology, PVCs (permanent voters card), card readers," he said, adding that he was "not worried", despite reports of difficulties in other states across the country.

At one polling station in Abuja, there were major delays, with the readers struggling to confirm fingerprints of voters, an AFP reporter said.

Voting proper was due to start at 1230 GMT once registered voters have been checked.