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INEC Insists On Card Readers For Governorship Election
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says card readers will be used for this Saturday’s governorship and state assembly elections.
In a statement signed by Augusta Ogakwu, secretary to the commission, the electoral body also assured that steps were being taken to address the problems thrown up by the use of the devices during the presidential polls on March 28.
It said further that the relaxation of the use for the card reader to allow for manual verification of voters affected only the presidential and National Assembly elections
“The Commission has reviewed the operation of the Card Reader in the 28th March Elections, identified the challenges and has taken adequate measures to address them,” the statement read.
“The provision of the Guidelines for the 2015 General Elections which outlined what is to be done if a Card Reader fails and cannot be replaced by the Commission (i.e. Reschedule the election to the next day) will be enforced,” the commission said further.
The card readers deployed by INEC failed in many parts of the country, particularly in the South west, with President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, falling victim as the machine failed to recognise their fingerprints.
INEC quickly directed that its officials in the field resort to manual verification of voters wherever the card readers failed.
One reason identified for the failure of the card readers in many places is that electoral officials handling the equipment did not remove the protective film on their lens.
Many Nigerians and political parties, chief among them the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, expressed opposition to the use of card readers, because of fears that they might malfunction but the INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, has always maintained that it is the best way to prevent rigging during elections.