The All Progressives Congress, APC, has tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to immediately commence the process that will lead to the use of the e-card reader for the forthcoming elections in Ekiti and Osun states.
The party said this was necessary if indeed the electoral body is committed to ensuring that the polls are free, fair and transparent.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by Lai Mohammed, its Interim National Publicity Secretary, the APC said using the simple but fool proof device for the Ekiti gubernatorial polls next month and that of Osun in August will make it possible for INEC to fine-tune its deployment on a nationwide scale for the 2015 general elections.
It said INEC must stop trying to justify why it cannot use the e-card reader to verify the permanent voter cards which the commission has spent time and money to develop and given to all registered voters, in an effort to ensure the transparency and credibility of its elections.
“Contrary to what INEC has said, the e-card reader is very adaptable, and its application is not subject to any environmental peculiarity once the basics of operations are met. It is therefore surprising to read INEC’s claim that the sensitivity of the elections in Ekiti and Osun will not recommend the use of the card reader,” the APC statement said.
The party said the most compelling reason for the use of e-card reader by INEC is that it will eliminate the rigging of elections through the use of stolen or purchased voter cards, and ensure that only those with authentic voter cards are allowed to cast their votes on election day.
“If INEC is not paying lip service to ensuring the integrity of its elections; if INEC does not want to become a collaborator in election manipulation, which has been the hallmark of recent elections under its watch; if INEC wants Nigeria to join the comity of nations where elections are being held without rigging or rancor, then it must pitch its tent with a technology that has been proven to be affordable, dependable and formidable in rooting out election cheats and manipulators,” he added.
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