Election: Osinbajo Urges Nigerians To Support Use Of Card Readers
THE Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Prof Yemi Osinbajo has urged Nigerians to support the use of card readers in the forthcoming general elections, describing the process as the most effective way to guarantee credibility of the polls. He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the card readers are in good working condition in order to have a hitch free election.
Answering questions from journalists at the Catholic Social Forum on Promoting the culture of violence-free elections in Nigeria in Abuja, Osinbajo wondered why some individuals are groups are kicking against the use of card readers in the accreditation process.
“The law is very clear; INEC determines how elections are conducted. They have shown it even before the Senate that the card reader is an efficient means of ensuring the authenticity of the PVC’s. So, as far as we are concerned it is the right thing to do. We only urge that INEC should ensure that the card readers are in good working order”.
On perceptions that using card readers would amount to E-Voting, considering that accreditation of eligible voters is part of the voting process, Osinbajo said, “it is definitely wrong because e-voting was just an electronic means of casting your vote. What a card reader does is that it authenticate your card to find out if it is a genuine card or not; it’s a good and faster technology to ensure that authenticity of the PVC’s are genuine. We want credible elections, we want to ensure that all PVCs are genuine, we don’t want a rigged election.”
When asked if his party have confidence in the chairman of INEC, prof Attahiru Jega and if the party would accept the outcome of the elections, Osinbajo said, “we have confidence in God; we are ready to accept outcome of the elections that are free and fair, and we expect that this election must be free and fair. That’s why we are taking all these troubles we are taking; we are educating our people and urging INEC to ensure that the elections are free and fair.
Don’t forget that under the same INEC, APC lost election in Ekiti, Anambra
In 2011; it was the same gentleman (Jega) that conducted the elections. We went to court contested it, but all of a sudden, the same PDP said it is afraid. If the election is not free and fair, we know the right and constitutional thing to do.”
Osinbajo noted that the APC is not bordered by the threat by some parties to pull out of election should INEC insist on using the car readers, stressing that they have the rights to participate or not participate in the elections.
Earlier, the President of the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, Chizoba Nnagboh said that contrary to the prophets of doom that predicted the end of Nigeria in 2015, it is the shared belief of the Catholic Laity that a new Nigeria is not only possible but is actually being born.
Nnagboh observed that the impending elections have brought a lot of fears and bad blood among the people, adding that there is the need for a change of attitude to public offices and elections to ensure that these do not usher in anti-fraternal tendencies but rather promote harmony.
“An electoral process should ordinarily be seen in the light of the opportunity it offers us as free citizens to freely and fairly exercise our rights to vote and be voted for. Unfortunately, this has been turned and elevated to the status of a battle-mentality likely to produce only bad winners and bad losers. Our fears are further aggravated by the violent dispositions of the supporters of the major political parties. In fact, there has been more breach than keeping with the letter and spirit of the Abuja violence-free accord.”
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