By CHINYERE OGBONNA – The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has continue to express confidence that the card reader technology will check any plan to by anyone or group to rig the forthcoming elections in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, at a town hall meeting with stakeholders today said that the commission had taken adequate steps to ensure that the card readers are configured according to polling units, making it impossible for the cards to be cloned or faked.
According to Chairman if the electoral umpire, Card Reader Objectives are- “You can only vote where you registered.
“If we do not use the card readers, we will lose in many fundamental respects. We have done field and quality assurance tests on the card reader and we are confident of its capabilities.
“Many Nigerians who participated in the demonstration have expressed satisfaction in the use of the card readers.
“Nigerians should be confident that cloned cards cannot be used. The card readers will not read cloned cards”.
He further gave key objectives of using the card readers and the impact the technology would have on the electoral process.
He noted that the card readers will be used to audit the electorate for future elections, eliminating the stress of accreditation and also help to provide statistical information on demographic immediately after the elections,”.
“We are doing everything possible to make sure that everyone gets their Permanent Voter Cards.”
Speaking on Internally Displaced Persons,IDIP’s, in camps, Professor Jega said that the INEC had made provision for them to take part in the electoral process, but expressed the fear that provision had not been made for all of them.
“We have no time or resources to organise elections for all IDPs in Nigeria. All IDPs in the three north-east states will be able to vote.
“We’ve found suitable locations in and out of IDP camps for easy access and participation in the elections,” he said The INEC boss clarified the role of the military in elections, saying: “We have never had armed military men in elections. Military guards the outer cordon around the different states to minimise movement. Unarmed policemen are to be at the polling units. Armed police can only stay three hundred metres away from the polling unit.
Professor Jega acknowledged that the extension of election had offered the INEC more time to prepare for the polls.
He noted that the six weeks extension of the election had enhanced preparations in terms of operation, logistics processing and in ensuring that there is tremendous value added to preparations for the elections.