The Independent National Electoral Commission has warned politicians against misinforming the public that card readers and permanent voter’s cards will not be used for Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.
It reaffirmed its position that only card readers and PVCs, not temporary voter’s cards, will be used for the accreditation exercise of the elections.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission has received reports that some political leaders are asking members of the public to disregard its stated resolve to use permanent voter’s cards and smart card readers for the April 11, 2015 governorship and state assembly elections,” read a statement by Kayode Idowu, chief press secretary to INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, on Thursday.
“A particular state governor in the North Central geo-political zone is reported to have assured voters in the state that they could come out to vote on Election Day with temporary voter’s cards if they do not have the PVCs, and that INEC will not be allowed to insist on the use of SCRs for voter accreditation.”
The Commission urged members of the public to disregard any information contrary to INEC guidelines.
“Any action infringing these guidelines will be an electoral offence, and security agents will be on hand to apprehend offenders,” it warned.
Although INEC did not categorically disclose the North-Central governor who allegedly gave assurance that voters without PVCs would be allowed to vote, a reliable source in the Commission confirmed that the Plateau state Governor, Jonah Jang was at the centre of INEC’s allegation.
However, PREMIUM TIMES confirmed Mr. Jang did not assure voters that INEC would not use card readers and PVCS, but only urged INEC to use manual accreditation process, in light of the challenges witnessed with card readers in some areas in the March 28 elections.
“I encourage us to remain steadfast in our support and prayers as we prepare to turn out en mass for the April 11th elections,” Mr. Jang had said on a local radio station. “My call to the Independent National Electoral Commission is to ensure that all those who have performed their civic responsibility of registering as eligible voters and are on the Voters List, be it manual or electronic, should not again be denied their constitutional rights of participation in the April elections, in the light of the challenges associated with the aborted use of the electronic card readers and the in effective distribution of Permanent Voters Cards in some areas.”
Meanwhile, the Commission has assigned the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Kogi State, Hussaini Halilu Pai, to supervise the conduct of the governorship and State Assembly elections in Kano State, following the tragic demise of Minkala Abdullahi last weekend, INEC further disclosed in the statement.