Presidential Election: PDP queries non use of Smart Card Readers in some part

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The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has queried the non-use of the Smart Card Readers in the conduct of the last Saturday presidential election in some part of the country.

The party, therefore, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to project what the Smart Cars Readers captured as accreditation figure before the Collation continues.

The All Progress Congress Presidential campaign spokesperson, Festus Keyamo, however, urged the PDP to follow the right channel in laying it complaints; stressing that the gathering is mainly for collation purpose and nor to entertain complains.

The protest, INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu however said should be channelled to the commission’s headquarters.

Speaking at the ongoing Collation of result of the presidential election in Abuja, PDP agent, Mr. Osita Chidoka queried why the cars readers should be made compulsory in some part of the country whereas, it is not in other parts.

Chidoka who was categorical about results from Bauchi, Borno and Yobe said the party has documented its observations as an official petition to the commission.

He said: ” The issue before us, Mr chairman is that we feel strongly about and the chairman of the PDP has written you a petition We are worried that the promise you made, the commitment you made and INEC made that as we are doing this collation of results, you will give us the details of accreditation captured by the card reader in the country.

“Yesterday (Monday) my colleague raised the issue and we thought that when we come back this morning as we are listening to the states, we will be seeing the accreditation by the states by the card reader.

“This Mr. Chairman, I like it to be on record that we want to see the accreditation for Bauchi state, for Borno state and Yobe in particular and of course, for the rest of the country because the number as we are seeing, it seems to me that we live in two countries.

“Why people in the south have issues with the SCR, why complaints were all over the place, we seem to have quiet and peaceful elections in places where the people have complained of severe cases of insecurity and harassments by the military and bandits.

“So, we would like you Mr. Chairman and I forward this letter to you to say that we will appeal that if it is possible Mr. Chairman that before we proceed to the next state you should please, project to us what the card reader has captured as the accreditation in these states.

“We are supposed to read from the card reader, the electronic collation as against the manual information that we are getting to process information here. While it isn’t yet signed into law in your guidelines it was made clear that no voting should take place where there are no card readers. So, Mr. Chairman, we must appeal to you that we would like you to project this accreditation as done by the card reader.

“Please, if any of your staff is available he can please, take a copy of this letter from  the chairman of the PDP saying that what we are doing here will require us to have the accreditation as done by the electronic card reader.”

However, in his response INEC boss urged the protesting party to submit it’s a letter to the commission’s headquarters.

He assured PDP that the commission will surely look into the petition and respond accordingly.

“Thank you Mr. Chidoka. But there is a procedure for submitting correspondence to the Commission.

“We haven’t shut down our office. This is the International Conference Centre where we are using as collation centre. Kindly submit your letter to the office, it will be acknowledged. Your letter will now be studied and we will respond, accordingly. I believe that there are details in the letter that we need to study,” Yakubu said.

Corroborating the remarks of INEC Chairman, Keyamo noted that the party also have complaints and as well but has chosen to follow the proper channel.

He said: : I just want contract to what my colleague of the PDP has said. Now, my simple reaction to this is that what we are doing here is guided by law and regulations of INEC. In the regulations of INEC, Clause 32 to 35 of the regulations clearly states the power of the Chairman of INEC in this sitting at the Collation centre and those powers does not involve the type of inquisition my friend is asking for.

“The details my friend is asking for amounts to inquisition into the results submitted to the Chairman of INEC. There is a proper channel to seek for inquisition into how many people were captured by the card readers and all that and compared to the results.

“That is not the power and duty of INEC Chairman sitting at the Collation centre and those proceedings and powers are clearly stated.

“So for us as a party and for my candidate, we are totally injecting to that pressure. We have our own complains about a lot of open rigging and massive thumb printing in Cross River and Rivers. So we have a lot of complains but we are only keeping our peace because we know the right procedures to take to submit our complains.

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