INEC insists on Card Readers for Saturday’s governorship election

Former INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega announcing results in the 2015 election.
Former INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega announcing results in the 2015 election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday announced that Card Readers would be used for Saturday’s governorship and houses of assembly elections across the country.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission wishes to inform all Nigerians that Card Readers will be used for the April 11, 2015 Elections,” Augusta Ogakwu, Secretary to the Commission, said in a statement Monday morning.

Ms. Ogakwu added, “The provision of the Guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 General Elections which outlined what is to be done if a Card Reader fails and cannot be replaced by the Commission within a specified time frame (i.e. Reschedule the election to the next day) will be enforced.

“The relaxation of the Guideline on 28th March 2015 was only with respect to the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on that date.

“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 Card Readers had malfunctioned in some parts of the country during the March 28 presidential and national assembly elections, forcing INEC to suspend its use in some polling units across the country.

INEC later said after the elections that one of the reasons the card readers failed was because its officials failed to remove the protective film on the lens of the equipment.

Some of the devices failed to read the biometric data of voters who turned up to perform their civic duties at various polling stations across the country.

President Goodluck Jonathan was one of those unable to get accreditation with the electronic device when he turned up at his Unit 13 polling station in his hometown in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, to vote. For more than half an hour the electoral officials at the unit battled unsuccessfully to get the president accredited.

Despite about four of the devices deployed to ensure that the president and his wife were accredited, he still ended up being accredited manually to vote during the exercise after being issued the INEC incidence form.

But speaking on Sunday, March 29, on a television programme to review the conduct of the exercise, Kayode Idowu, the spokesperson to the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, said the devices may have failed to function as a result of the non-removal of the protective film on their lenses.


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