Governorship Elections: Card Readers Won’t Malfunction – INEC Assures

Governorship Elections: Card Readers Won’t Malfunction – INEC Assures

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Mahmood Yakubu, Amina Zakari, Atiku Abubakar, INEC, Muhammadu Buhari
Professor Attahiru Jega, former INEC Chairman (left), on his right is INEC director and niece of President Muhammadu Buhari, Hajiya Amina Bala-Zakari (INEC Photo)

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that the hitches experienced with the use of card readers in the just concluded presidential elections will not re-occur when Nigerians troop out for gubernatorial elections on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

Speaking to Channels TV, the Spokesperson to INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega – Kayode Idowu – enthused that the factors responsible for the said hitches have been discovered with adequate measures taken to avert a repeat.

Idowu said: “Some of the networks that the cards were fixed in had challenges.
“That was the complaint on that day but you will discover that in the course of time, these card readers that they said were malfunctioning started to function. It was when they got the word across to them that remove those sim cards to heat it with the phone before you insert again but when you do that you have to reconfigure, so those things have been identified and have been taken care of.
“The device itself, in terms of the product quality, is of very high integrity; that we have demonstrated and proven. So we know what accounted for those challenges and we are working on them.”
“We had challenges with the card readers in less than one percent of the 155, 000 polling units across the country.
“It was only unfortunate that we had issues in high-profile places like Otuoke [hometown of the president in Bayelsa] and when you have such a thing it overwhelms other areas. But like I said, we have identified those areas and we are working on them.”
On allegations of underage voting, rigging and other anomalies raised in the course of the election, Idowu said: “In the election environment, the presiding officer is the president of that environment. But we also have observers and party agents and if there are issues and the presiding officer is not noting it, the agents and observers could draw his or her attention to such issue and when they do that, the presiding officer has the power to request the security agents to apprehend [the underage voters].
“I have seen pictures of underage voters but unlike the case of the thumb printing where the polling units were mentioned, I find it difficult to place, to know the polling units where underage voters were allowed to vote.
“All you have is anecdote and anecdotes don’t help. It is incident reports that are valid. If the presiding officer, for whatever reason, does not act, INEC has a situation room that you can reach on 0700callINEC.”

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