By Michael Ndi in Bamenda
*Cameras unable to capture some prospective voters
Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) officials are worried over the mysticism showcased by some prospective voters who show up for the biometric voter registration in the North West Region of Cameroon.
These worries were expressed by the ELECAM officials across the North West Region during the 7-day consultation visits of the Divisions of the Region by the ELECAM President, Dr. Fonkam Azu’u and some board members from January 10 to 17, 2013.
Harping on the problems encountered on the field, the ELECAM personnel said beside a good number of the biometric kits which go bad in course of registration, the cameras are unable to capture the images of some of the prospective voters. Hear them, “At times, we try all the Kits to take photographs of some prospective voters to snap the images of some persons but we ended up unable to take the images”.
The ELECAM Chieftain, Fonkam Azu’u, corroborating the complainants, disclosed that the same incident was reported in the South Region. He said the ELECAM officials solved the matter by pleading with the concerned prospective voters informing them that they were only out to get their images to enable them register for the upcoming elections. “They told us that after pleading with those people, they relaxed and the cameras were able to take their photographs”. He however, said he could not be convinced by such allegations until he witness them himself.
There was equally the case of some people whose finger prints are not visible but the ELECAM boss explained that such is possible of those who are involved in farm work and other tedious jobs using their hands and so there’s that possibility that the lines on their thumbs could disappear. In this case including those who do not have hands to facilitate finger prints, Fonkam Azu’u said other special marks of their bodies could be used with a report written to enable them vote.
In a Press briefing in Bamenda on Saturday, January 13, 2013, the North West Regional ELECAM communication officer, Colday Olivier, said as of January 4, 2013, a total of 261612 people registered with women registering 53.39% more than men.
Reacting to the fears that some overzealous politicians could convince under age people to vote, Fonkam Azu’u said the computers have been structured in a way that they can not accept to register those below age.
Meanwhile the civil society, traditional leaders, pastors, politicians and the Press were entreated to sensitize the population to massively register taking the advantage of the free issuance of National identity cards as decreed by the Head of State, President Paul Biya. They were told that the registration exercise will wrap up on February 28, 2013 following the contract signed by ELECAM officials and their German partners. The population was warned that those who want to wait until the 11th hour might be embarrassed at the end of the day if the Head of State convenes the pools on or before February 2013.
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