Drop card readers before governorship polls, Maku tells INEC


rp_labaran-maku.JPGMr Labaran Maku, the governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Nasarawa state, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to discard the card reader before the governorship election.

Maku made the appeal while fielding questions from newsmen on Saturday shortly after casting his ballot at Wakama Clinic Polling Unit of Nassarawa-Eggon Local Government Area of the state.

“My call on INEC to drop the use of the card reader machine is due to failure of the machine already recorded in the ongoing presidential and National Assembly elections.

“Card reader machine has turned out to be a factor frustrating millions of Nigerians who came out as early as 7 a.m. in all polling units across the country,” he said.

He said that in his polling unit at Wakama Clinic, voters who arrived at about 7 a.m. for accreditation were still stranded at 3 p.m., waiting for the exercise to commence.

According to him, voters were denied accreditation after waiting from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on account that card readers have been programmed to stop accreditation at 1.30 p.m.

Maku said that it was when voters in the polling unit agitated and wanted to resist the process that INEC officials resorted to manual method of accreditation.

“How would INEC programme the card reader machine to stop accreditation by 1.30 p.m. when the real election situation is not considered,” he queried.

He said that the electoral guideline stipulates that even if it was time to stop accreditation, all voters already in the queue most be accredited.

The former Minister of Information said that INEC should be courageous enough to consider the situation where President Goodluck Jonathan had to spend up to 35 minutes before accreditation and drop the idea.

He said that while the INEC innovation could be described as good and a value addition to the electoral process, it should not be used until 2019.

He suggested that INEC should first experiment the card readers in bye-elections that might come up after ongong general elections to ensure its effectiveness in real election situation. (NAN)