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2015 Elections: We Are Not Afraid of Card Readers – PDP
The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has dismissed accusations by the opposition All Progressive Party, APC, that it was opposed to the use of card readers in the forthcoming elections, insisting that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should ensure that it conducts adequate test runs on the machines before deploying them for use on Election Day.
Speaking with journalists during a news briefing on Thursday, the deputy national chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, stated that claims that it was afraid of the use of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, and card readers were nothing but propaganda from the APC.
Secondus, who stated that the PDP was sure to comfortably win the polls by a wide margin, also said that its campaign measures had been further taken from wards to polling units in order to fully engage the electorate.
On allegations that the PDP is opposing the use of card readers because such a measure would prevent rigging, the deputy national chairman that the ruling party is not against the use of card readers but had only insisted on the proper things being done for it to be successfully deployed.
“The PDP believes that INEC should test it and it should be in perfect condition, so that we don’t run into problems. So that on that day, we don’t have problems of it working in some areas and in other areas it won’t work,” he explained.
“Since it is the first time we will adopt this technology, it should be in perfect condition so that people will not have cause to complain,” he added.
Meanwhile, the APC has re-affirmed its position that the PDP’s opposition to the use of card readers in upcoming polls is a proof that the ruling party was doing all in its power to either prevent the election from holding or to ensure there are loopholes that would permit it to rig the polls.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party stated that it was “very curious the fact that the PDP, which had rushed to the press to deny the APC’s claims had turned around to confirm them”.
“At the press conference we addressed on Wednesday, which rattled the PDP and the Jonathan Administration so much, we listed the conditionalities of the PDP/Jonathan administration for holding the election: No PVCs, No Card Readers, No Jega and the fact that they want the military deployed to harass and intimidate voters.
“We mentioned ‘Card Readers’ at least three times during the press conference, and said they are doing everything possible to sabotage the machine and prevent its use,” the party further stated.
The party wondered why the spokesmen for the PDP and the Jonathan Campaign Organisation rushed to the press to deny any such ‘reprehensible’ plan and yet, a few hours later, the spokesman for the campaign organisation backtracked to tell the nation that they would oppose the use of card readers
According to the APC, this new position was assumed apparently after the spokesmen were overruled by the party.