PDP group faults INEC over incidence form, voting points
Refusal to accept results is root of polls’ violence, say stakeholders
THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Monday came under serious criticisms by some members of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by the party’s pioneer National Publicity Secretary, Aniete Okon, for introducing the “Incidence Form” which will allow persons to vote due to some technical faults from the card readers.
The politicians, who addressed a press conference under the aegis of the PDP Integrity Group, also described as unacceptable the introduction of “voting points” by INEC.
The group, which said the purpose the card reader was meant to serve would have been defeated if persons not accredited are simply allowed to vote through the use of the incidence report form, said it had no confidence in the ability of the Attahiru Jega-led INEC to superintend over the 2015 general elections, wondering why the electoral body would introduce voting points in place of creation of more polling units which had been rejected by Nigerians.
He queried: “Why has Jega now re-introduced these polling units through the backdoor by creating what he now calls “voting points. Where are these special voting points located and why is Jega keeping the matter under the table?”
Meanwhile, election stakeholders in Bauchi State yesterday said refusal to accept election results by contestants is the root cause of election violence in the country.
This was identified during a sensitisation and awareness creation meeting on dangers of post-election violence for youths, women groups and faith-based organisations organised by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Gombe Operational office.
Speaking at the meeting, a senior lecturer with the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Malam Hamid Mohammed, said that incumbency is another factor for election violence, as incumbents always regard winning elections as their rights.
Mohammed said there was a need for INEC to ensure transparency in the conduct of elections so that it will reduce violence, adding that there should be a plan against any eventuality before and after elections and that the electoral body should ensure that elections are televised live in the local media to minimise rigging.
Also, speaking, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bauchi State Chapter, Rev. Joshua Maina, said that most of the crises in Nigeria erupted as a result of political differences and money.
Maina said people should first look at the track records of values of leaders before electing them to any exalted position.
The Head of Operation, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Gombe, Alhaji Saidub Minin, said the meeting was aimed at creating awareness on post-election violence.
Awuse further said: “To attenuate their reprehensible plan further is the fact that Jega’s INEC has also invented a certain “incidence form” that would allow anyone to vote if his biometrics cannot be verified or authenticated. In other words, if the card reader fails to authenticate the biometrics of a would-be voter, that person simply fills a form and goes ahead to vote! What then is the essence of the biometrics if they cannot be trusted to provide the last security gateway against electoral fraud? This portends grave danger and is a recipe for unrestrained confusion at the polling stations. Rather than continue to engage in this chicanery, Jega should come clean and admit failure and save us from anguish and national embarrassment. Jega’s integrity and strength of character has been greatly impugned.
“Card readers are unarguably a recipe for monumental national disaster and must be discarded at this point because of the obvious intention to use it to rig elections in favour of APC and the consequent attendant threat to peace and security of the people of this country. In what is a classical case of putting the cart before the horse, the National Assembly was deliberately hoodwinked into approving the use of card reader days before the test-run that has thrown up inherent weaknesses of the machine. An error margin of three in 10 is below the standards of acceptable error in any sphere of human activities and is therefore unacceptable.”
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