55 party chairmen disagree with PDP over card reader


The Forum of Chairmen of Nigeria Political Parties has disagreed with the People’s Democratic Party( PDP) on the efficacy of the smart Card Reader.

ABUJAPEOPLE recalls that that Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) commissioner , Festus Okoye had said the smart card reader which was introduced in 2015 has outlived its usefulness.

Okoye said the smart card reader has lost relevance because even the courts do not recognise it as a means to prove over-voting.

On its part, the opposition PDP, said concluded governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states, including the Kogi West senatorial rerun, were manipulated based on the claims by the INEC commissioner .

The party, however, called on the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and other leaders of the electoral body to resign their appointments.

However,  in a statement by chairman, National Unity Party , Chief Perry Opara who spoke for the Forum of Chairmen of Nigeria Political Parties, said It is clear to even less political minds that the Smart Card Reader’s efficacy has been politically and judicially neutralized .

According to him,it must be mentioned that this was largely done by members of the PDP who argued before the Supreme Court against its relevance in relation to the Voter Register.

He contended that the Supreme Court only agreed with the arguments of the PDP and therefore neutralized the Smart Card Reader pointing out that the PDP should therefore not run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

He said “The PDP cannot be crying wolf now when it earlier celebrated the judgements which nullified the Card Readers as victory for democracy.

“The position of the Supreme Court which for now is the law makes the Voter Register the final  proof of the accreditation of voters. Hence, making the record of the Card reader inadmissible in Court as proof of accreditation.

“The meaning of this is that even when only a few people turn out at a Polling Unit on election day, thugs can hijack the materials, record humongous figures and are only required to tick the Voter Register and they are home and dry.PDP celebrated this position of the Supreme Court and should just keep quiet for now.”

The forum urged  the PDP to show that it is serious with legislative interventions in Nigeria’s electoral systems by enjoining her members to lead the moves in the National Assembly for relevant amendments.

Stating that PDP had the opportunity to reform the electoral system, he said “they failed and when they left office, they used the Supreme Court to torpedo the little gains of the introduction of the Smart Card Reader which Nigeria had made.

“We call on all Nigerians to lend thelr voice and put pressure on their representatives in both Chambers of the National Assembly to urgently pass the Electoral Act Amendment Bill so that we can have Electronic transmission of votes, electronic transmission of accreditation figures from the Card Reader and possibly electronic voting so that thugs will not have a role in our electoral system since our security agencies have failed woefully to stop them from their unpatriotic trade, “ he added.

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