Card Reader for Election Rejected by Presidency and PDP

February 11, 2015 12:48 pm

There were indications that the and the Peoples Democratic
Party were already commencing tactics aimed at frustrating the decision
of the Independent National Electoral Commission to make use of card
readers for the 2015 elections.

Investigations by PUNCH
in Abuja on Monday and Tuesday, indicated that the ruling party and the
Presidency were already looking at the possibility of mobilising
Nigerians to demand that the use of card readers for the election be

This is coming as a former National Chairman of the ruling party, who is
now a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Audu Ogbeh,
said there were signs that the was not interested in
holding the elections.

Rather, Ogbeh said, the party was still hell-bent on foisting interim government on .
A source in the Presidency, who spoke on condition of anonymity with our
correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, said that both the Presidency and
some members of the National Working Committee of the party had been
asked to continue to either condemn the use of the card readers for the
elections or also that the commission be told to allow Nigerians to use
the Temporary Voter Card instead of the Permanent Voter Card for the

He said, “We are not comfortable with the card readers. For example, we have not seen any and we don’t know how it works.

“What will happen if the card readers fail to work? We have not even
been told that they would not fail. And if they fail, what would happen.
I think the issue of card readers must be re-examined.”

The commission had said that it would introduce card readers for voters’
accreditation in order to verify the rightful owners of PVCs.

It said that the device would eliminate impersonation and voting by proxy during the elections.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign
Organisation, Amadi Ali, on Monday criticised the electoral commission
for the postponed elections.

He said the electoral body was not fully ready for the polls.

Ali, who spoke at a press conference which was also attended by the
Director of Media and Publicity of the organisation, Chief Femi
Fani-Kayode, also criticised the use of card readers for the elections.

He said, “There are also reports that the PVC readers are not fully
distributed and tested. How can handle cases of faulty card

“Do they have a credible plan B in situation where voters line up and
the card readers refuse to work? Ballot boxes are reportedly inadequate.
Adequate training of INEC’s members of staff for the election had not
been concluded and other problems facing INEC.

“Quite clearly the shift in election date is meant to save INEC from
monumental embarrassment. I would like to reiterate that the PDP is
ready for the election any day.”

But Ogbeh in a statement, insisted that the PDP was not ready for the
elections and advised Nigerians to reject any call for the installation
of ING by the government.

He said that the letter sent to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru
Jega, by the National Security Adviser, Col. Dansuki Sambo (retd.), in
which he asked for elections postponement by six weeks must be properly
digested by Nigerians.

Ogbeh said, “Does this not suggest that we should expect high level
theatric manipulation as the six weeks get closer to convince us that
another six weeks will be necessary?

“Isn’t this a ploy to ensure we enter May 29 without an election on the
grounds of a nationwide instability? Doesn’t this then give credence to
the rumours, and indeed, the declaration in a rowdy press conference
four days ago by Dr. Doyin Okupe that they have no intention of handing
over to Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)?

“Isn’t this leading to the strongly rumoured Interim National
Government? It is time for all Nigerians to take heed that there is a
stormy and dark clouds ahead.”

He said that Nigeria had been reduced to children’s playground where
individuals and groups presumed that they could name on their own
without recourse to the constitution and the slightest respect for the
170 million Nigerians. 

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