By Abubakar Yunus
There was a mild drama around 7:50 a.m. on Saturday morning at Omepa LGEA Primary School at Igalaogba ward in Idah Local Government Area (LGA), Kogi State (PU 009, RA 01), when a voter, Wada Muhammed, accused the election officials of using a different pen other than the one they brought.
Mr Muhammed said he had bought different pens to give the election officials because he suspected the one they had could easily be erased on the result sheets.
“The pen they were using, the one they brought for us to use, we are not satisfied with that pen. So it will write and clean (sic),”inferring that the inscriptions by the pen could easily be erased.
“So that is why we are not satisfied. So we brought our own so that they will be able to use our own.”
But the election officials, particularly the Presiding Officer, a National Youth Corps member, whose name this reporter could not immediately ascertain, insisted he was not going to take a pen from anyone.
Instead, he said if Mr Muhammed was not comfortable with the pen given by INEC, he should bring a pen seller from whom he would then select another pen. He said he was not going to collect the pen brought by Mr Muhammed.
The argument that started in his native Igala dialect later morphed into the participants speaking English.
After some back and forth and persuasion by some of his Assistant Presiding Officers, the NYSC Corps member agreed to use another pen.
Although the Presiding Officer did not accept the pen offered to him, he opted for another pen he had which Mr Muhammed agreed to.
“He has his own (personal pen) and that his own is exactly (like) the one I bought,” Mr Muhammed said.
The polling unit where the mild drama happened has one of the largest voter populations, according to residents.
The figure on the voters’ profile pasted around the polling unit, as seen by this reporter, showed 1,599 voters.