INEC to test Card Readers in 12 States Saturday

Card reader

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will on Saturday conduct field-testing of the smart card readers to be used for the forthcoming general elections.

The test run will hold in 12 states of the federation.

The card readers will be tested in 225 polling units and 358 voting points across 12 registrations areas, popularly called wards, in two states from each of the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, made the disclosure in a statement Friday.

The states in which the exercise will be conducted are Rivers and Delta States (South-South); Ebonyi and Anambra States (South-East); Lagos and Ekiti States (South-West); Taraba andand Bauchi States (North-East); Kano and Kebbi States (North-West); Nasarawa and Niger States (North-Central).

The affected registration areas and the local government areas in which they are include Oromenike ward 1 in Port Harcourt Local Government Area, Rivers State; Izzi Unuhu ward, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State; Dalimore ward, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State; Mutum Biyu ward, Gassol, Taraba State; Danmaliki ward, Kumbotso, Kano State; Raha ward, Bunza, Kebbi State; Garaku ward, Kokona, Nasarawa State; Shiroro, Egwa/Gwada ward, Niger State; Onigbongbo ward, Ikeja, Lagos State; Igboukwu ward, Aguata, Anambra State; Umuezei ward, Oshimili South, Delta State; and Jama’are ‘B’ Jama’are, Bauchi State.

The number of registered voters in the 12 wards enlisted for the exercise amounts to 171,857.

Voters in these wards are free to go through the card reading exercise with their permanent voter cards, INEC said.

The INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, has stressed the use of card readers for accreditation in the March 28 and April 11 elections will combat electoral manipulation.

But there is strong opposition against the application.

At least five political parties have opposed the use of card readers, arguing it is a “new technology” with prospect of failure during the electioneering process and that it is illegal.

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Senate had opposed the use of card reader when Mr. Jega was invited to brief the lawmakers and demonstrate the working of the device weeks ago.

However, the Senate President, David Mark, announced the approval of the upper legislative house for INEC to use card readers.


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  • Olu Ade

    Brilliant idea and an academy assessment rather than big mouths who scream every day that the sky is coming down because of their selfish interest.

    • Wähala

      @Olu Ade…
      You fall my hands for the first time by not thinking on your toes. Don’t you know that the federal government can disrupt telecomm services in those chosen locations and then claim the Card Readers failed to transmit data to central collating station. INEC & Jega shouldn’t have run their mouths about the exact locations for all I care, a desperado PDP engaged in all sorts of silly gimmicks will do any & everything to thwart the use of Card Readers… don’t count your chicks yet until the all the eggs hatch, bro. Sha, fingers crossed!

  • GREAT JOB, INEC nd JEGA. This will shut the mouths of rigging-minded Jona-PDP losers.

  • Wähala

    INEC shuld have kept the chosen locations a secret, why not a spontaneous test-run to be announced as the exercise is going on? This corrupt Govt. controls the NCC (Naija Communications Commission) and could sabotage the relay of data and later claim the Card Readers failed. Prof. Jega continues to think like an amateur. Sha, I can only wish him good luck with his experiment. I believe the demonstration at the Senate was enough to give the technology a Pass Mark and say, shaken!

    • Since INEC has nothing to hide they have made it an open house. Whosoever wills may come see the Test Runs.

      • Wähala

        That’s not the point I was trying to get across. My concern is this dubious government might circumvent the exercise by blocking telecomm transmissions in those areas then, claim the Card Readers malfunctioned. Don’t trust Dumbo for one second… e don reach dat level, pal. At the Senate the technology worked hitch-free, want to bet it won’t tomorrow?

        • Let’s wait and see what, if any Jona-PDP’s trickery for tomorrow will be. This way we can keep tract of it and eliminate it before 3/28. If they can sabotage the 12 local governments’ telecom transmission, they can do same for all local govts.

  • The House of Reps recently declared that Jona-PDP cannot unilaterally sack Prof Jega, and “the Senate President, David Mark, announced the approval of the upper legislative house for INEC to use card readers…”The INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, has stressed the use of card readers for accreditation in the March 28 and April 11 elections will combat electoral manipulation.” Card readers will be tested 3/07 in 12 states, 12 local governments and 225 poling stations.

    Nigeria should be set for a free, fair, creditable and verified elections stating 3/28. NO RIGGING ALLOWED.

  • Okey

    BUHARI CALLS FOR JEGA’S SACK, ACCUSES INEC OF DEEP CORRUPTION

    PREMIUM TIMES, March 7, 2013, Monday Ateboh and Agency Report

    Nigeria’s former head of state Muhammadu Buhari, has called for the sack of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, and other top officials of the commission, saying the electoral body, as presently constituted, cannot be trusted to deliver on credible elections.

    Speaking in London at the 4th British-African Diaspora conference held at the British House of Parliament on the theme “Stable Democracy and Nigeria’s Economy,”, Mr. Buhari said sacking Mr. Jega and his lieutenants is a good starting point for fixing Nigeria’s broken electoral system.

    “All the present indications are that INEC as it is presently constituted would be unable to deliver any meaningful elections in 2015,” the former head of state said. “INEC’s top echelon is immersed deep in corruption and only wholesale changes at the top could begin to cure its malaise.”

    He said for future elections to be credible and hitch-free, government needs to do a clean sweep of the personnel at INEC, replacing them with Nigerians of unquestionable integrity.

    “What is required is a group of independent minded people, patriotic, incorruptible but with the capacity to handle such a strenuous assignment of conducting elections in Nigeria. It is not difficult to find such people but whether the Government and the National Assembly have the inclination to do so I am not so sure.” Mr. Buhari added.

    He accused the Jega-led INEC of having developed “a very cozy relationship with Executive and Judicial arms of government that its impartiality is totally lost”.

    Mr. Buhari recalled that in the run-up to the last elections the electoral body “requested (and received with indecent haste) in excess of 80 billion naira (about £340m.) a hefty sum by any standards, so that it could conduct the elections including organizing bio-metric voters data specifically for the 2011 elections”.

    He said that but when opposition parties “challenged the patently dishonest figures it announced and subpoenaed the bio-metric data in court, INEC refused to divulge them on the laughable excuse of “National Security”.

    Mr. Buhari also spoke on a wide range of issues from state creation to zoning system, poverty and wealth creation as well as the 2015 general elections. He said the scourge of corruption is deeply rooted in the nation, which puts the fight against the menace beyond the capacity of any government.

    Reiterating the view expressed in a recent interview by the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, Ekpo Nta, that “there is no political will (by government) to fight corruption in Nigeria”, the former Presidential flag bearer of the CPC underscored the need for cooperation by all Nigerians in the campaign to rid the country of corruption in all its ramifications.

    “Until serious efforts are made to tackle corruption, which is beyond the capacity of the government, economic growth and stability will continue to elude us,” he noted.

    He, however, acknowledged Nigeria’s capacity to emerge as an economically competitive nation if the wrongs of political and economic corruption are corrected, adding that “democracy” cannot function
    optimally without a certain level of economic attainment.

    According to the CPC chieftain, there is no short cut to poverty eradication other than to get people to work and earn their living, pointing out that there was need to ensure that agriculture thrives
    throughout the country through the provision of adequate incentives, like fertiliser, pesticides and small-scale credits to farmers.

    He identified agriculture as one area that would greatly boost the growth of Nigeria within five to seven years, adding that the massive drift from rural to urban centres would be greatly reduced if proper
    attention is given the sector by government and other stakeholders.

    He said attention should also be paid to the revival of employment generating activities through the small and medium enterprises, notably in the textiles industry and other land and forest resources-based
    industries to absorb the huge urban labour, in the drive to tackle poverty, reduce crime and boost economic growth.

    A former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nasir El-Rufai, who also spoke at the event, said Mr. Buhari was persuaded to return to active politics even though he had earlier said he would never
    contest for the presidency after losing in the 2003, and 2007 elections.

    On age limit for presidential aspirants, Mr. El Rufai said he believed strongly that the issue was not about age, but about (Buhari’s) “combination of the wisdom of the old, and dynamism of the young to move the nation forward.”

    The conference, organised by BEN TV, was launched last year as part of efforts to engage the Diaspora on developmental issues in Nigeria.

  • korona melvin

    This is actually a good move, Nigerians ought to know how reliable this card readers will be at the polls to allay any fear from our mind. inec should get their acts together, the whole world is watching. #GEJ4NAIJA

  • grace folarin

    i dont trust this news and the statistics. why would jega bring a technology that might not give us a credible election2> Jega will not conduct the election no truth in him,how is that 95 percent PVC are been collected in Borno State, Adamawa State, Yobe State which are trouble sport states and other northner states but Ondo State, Ogun State, Ekiti State and States From South have Not Collect Up to 30 percent and he want to conduct election on 14 of February. Let him commence on terminal leave immediately. #GEJ4NAIJA

    • Olu from South Africa

      No cause for alarm. Your pay master has done well in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria they will all vote for him. Or what you want is president of creek monkeys?

  • Okey

    Jega is manifestly demonstrating his malfide, I can NEVER trust Jega with his card reader. One, he prepared 30 polling units to be distributed in the order of 23,000 to the North and 7,000 to the South but was stopped albeit with the highest degree of reluctance by Jega. He delivered 90% of PVCs to the North East and North West but delivered only 23% to the entirety of the Middle Belt, South South, South East and South West. Now, Jega went to Senate to demonstrate his Card Reader, there, the card reader failed to recognize Igbo Senators. Meaning, simply, that the Card Readers CAN BE PROGRAMMED not to function or not to be effective in certain areas. If therefore, Jega could come up with the idea of an additional polling units and PVCs distribution deliberately skewed in favour of APC controlled areas and a card reader that was programmed not to recognized Igbos or a majority or even some of them, then I don’t and I won’t trust Jega with his PVC. I am all the more convinced of an evil plot considering that APC leaders in the South West who, normally, would have championed the complaint against the abysmal rate of PVC delivery in their zone, were, ironically, in the forefront of the advocacy to disenfranchise their own people at the time, knowing fully well that even if the entire Middle Belt and the South decided to cast their votes for Jonathan they can NEVER cancel out what (PVCs) Jega distributed in the North West and North East. Any and every evil machination of Jega must be stopped, no matter how disingenuous he about it.

  • BTT

    Nothing should stop the card reader from being used. If the fed govt is in doubt, they should bring in foreign experts from different parts of the world to check the card the card against any re-program. Nigeria must move forward. We can’t afford to go 1 step forward, 2 step backward anymore. Northerners are mainly affected by the insurgency and Fulani massacre, hence I am not surprise at their cooperation for PVC distribution because they want their votes to have impact. People of the south and west must cooperate with INEC to distribute the PVC.

  • Godfrey Etokebe

    INEC should have included BORNO state for the test.