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Card readers mandatory in Saturday’s polls, INEC insists


Staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) start confirming over again 7,000 portable permanent voter card (PVC) readers ahead of the postponed predidential and general election at the River State INEC office in Port Harcourt, southern Nigeria, on February 18, 2019. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP)

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said the use of smart card readers (SCRs) is mandatory in Saturday’s governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said this in Abuja yesterday.

Okoye said the clarification became necessary following allegations, since the conduct of the February 23, presidential and National Assembly elections, that INEC was selective in the use of smart card readers.

He said the allegations had led to speculations that INEC might be forced to jettison the use of SCRs in the state and FCT area council polls.


He said: “To clear any doubt or ambiguity, we wish to state that the deployment and mandatory use of SCRs in next Saturday’s elections will not only be uniform but also universal.”

Besides, the Free Lagos Orange Movement (Otoge Lagos) has alleged that National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed

Tinubu was making plans with his loyalists to rig Saturday’s governorship and state Assembly elections.

They claimed that Tinubu who is scared of loosing grip of Lagos, is now more than ever desperate to rig the election, and has given all the party members in the council and the state executive council marching orders to ensure that his candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu emerges against all odds on Saturday.

The group further called on Lagosians to be vigilant so that the desperados do not endanger nascent democracy through their brigandage and acts inimical to free, fair and peaceful election.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Lagos, Co-convener of the movement, Mark Adebayo who spoke on behalf of the other conveners including Spokesperson of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin and human rights activist, Olisa Agbakoba said the people of Lagos must be given the freedom to choose who leads them.

Meanwhile, Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr. Samuel C. Kanu Uche, yesterday charged the Federal Government and INEC to ensure credible election and create an enabling environment for Nigerians to vote.

He stated this at a media briefing yesterday in Lagos, noting that the Church in the interest of peace, stability and prosperity of the country and its citizens want the government to emulate the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ghana and other democratic nations by working toward a credible poll.

He said: “ Let us disallow the intimidation of opposition parties, harassment of opponents or the sponsoring of thugs to intimidate opponents on Saturday, March 9.”

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