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Kano records successful card reader test-run



• Ekiti APC urges commission to improve

THE field test of card reader by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted in some local government areas of Kano State has been declared by the commission as smooth with little hitches, assuring that if the tempo is sustained and improved upon, the forthcoming general election would be a resounding success.

   Kano Resident Electoral Commissioner Mukaila Abdullahi, said “The turnout of the people was highly encouraging. The exercise was generally successful with minimum hitches. This exercise shows us that, yes, we can rely on it in the general election. In fact we are comfortable with the exercise,” said Commissioner.

  On whether there were some challenges faced by the exercise, the REC disclosed that, the only problem faced was that of thumbprint from a few potential voters. “Our machines were not able to capture some fingers, a development we anticipated before now.

 “The voter will not be disenfranchised because of the failure of our machines to recognize the thumbprint. The voter’s name will be checked in our register and we have a special arrangement to take care of such situations,” assured Abdullahi.

   Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has urged the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to fine-tune the working of card reader to enhance the credibility of the poll.

  APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun, said in a statement that though the verdicts returned from the vast areas where the exercise took place indicated that the test-run exercise gave hope for credible polls, there were areas that needed to be mended to remove doubts from Nigerians about the credibility and reliability of the device.

   According to him, these include reported lapses in the functioning of the machines and inability of the device to recognise the fingerprints of some prospective voters‎’ owing to dirty finger.

   He said INEC still had time for more awareness education to guide voters to keep their fingers clean to ensure that no Nigerian is disenfranchised, adding that so far, the exercise demonstrated evidence of INEC’s readiness to conduct a fraud-free poll devoid of acrimonious disputes arising from flawed electoral exercises of the past.

  INEC, according to the commissioner would study the exercise across the country and make recommendations base on the outcome of the exercise. “From there we will make recommendations and take a cue from there. We will make adjustments where necessary,” he disclosed.

  A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Kumbotso Local Government, who is also a former chairman of the local government, Nasiru Usman Naibawa, commended the exercise generally, especially the conduct of people during the exercise

  He challenged that he came to believe in what INEC was saying that the introduction of card reader was the best thing happened to electoral process in the country. “The exercise as we are witnessing it today is easier and quicker than the manual way of doing it. I am highly impressed with the process. It is a welcome development as far as I am concerned,” Naibawa charged.

   “The security situation is commendable. If the scenario can go on like this up to the proper election period, we are going to have a very peaceful election in the country. Up to now I didn’t see any lapses in the whole process,” the former chairman maintained.

   Chairman of Kumbotso Local Government, Lawan Ismaila Unguwar Rimi, followed suit in commending INEC for an ‘effective exercise’. “Everything went smoothly with the exercise. As you can see we mobilized our people to come out en-masse and participate. They answered our calls,” said the chairman.

 An observer group, Nigerians United for Democracy commended the exercise. Mohammed Kabiru Adam, an observer from the group said, “We are satisfied with what we are seeing today. It will surprise you to know that some registered voters were here as early as 6a.m. some even before that time. And from the part of INEC staff they were all on ground by 6a.m., very surprising of the electoral umpire!” he explained.

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