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Problems Line Up For Nigerian Election Delta State, Nigeria -CNN Report

January 11, 2011


-- No voting equipment, no election officials, no security and an election chairman indicating events are out of his control.

"No one is voting because in many areas people are taking the law in to their own hands. Many of our officials have been attacked, many of our voting materials have been diverted in many of these places you are talking about so it cannot be our fault," said Attahiru Jega, Chairman of Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC.

It is a disturbing admission about a small state election re-run in Nigeria's southern Delta state, but it could also be an indicator of problems ahead for the upcoming national election.

If Jega can't control elections in this one small state, then it could have serious consequences for promises of free and fair national elections across 36 states in April.

A crowd of voters gathered at one voting place soon became angry as they realized they were being denied their right to vote. "No ballot box! No ballot box!" they yelled. "We want to vote! We want to vote!" they chanted.

There was no polling booth, no election officials, no security and no explanation.

Earlier that morning, minibuses left the local distribution center under military guard carrying voting materials. It was the last we saw of it.

"We thought this election was going to be a very good one and hence we came," shouted one man from the crowd. "No accreditation, no voting, nobody."

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