The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said reports of challenges with the use of voter card readers across Nigeria have vindicated its opposition to the deployment of the device in a general election.
While card readers functioned smoothly at some voting centres during Saturday’s presidential and national assembly elections, there were complaints from many centres about slow or completely dysfunctional machines.
President/Executive Director of Citizens Rights and Empowerment Advocacy Initiative (CREMA Initiative), Comrade Rexkennedy Saltlove, in a situation report response to The Street Reporters confirmed that card readers were failing.
He said “Card readers were apparently failing often at a polling booth near an Accenture staff’s home and the guy couldn’t understand why.”
Continuing he added, “he approached the INEC woman, inspected the reader, only to discover that the protective film on the lense of the reader had not been removed.
“After a protracted argument, he convinced the woman to remove it. the reader not only read previously rejected cards, it read with faster response time”, Saltlove said told The Street Reporters.
The PDP, which had opposed the use of card readers for the elections, said the development has justified its argument against card readers.
The party’s Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, told PREMIUM TIMES the ruling party had been vindicated.
“It was only the PDP that raised the issue of the challenges we might have with card readers. We said INEC should rectify or discard the card readers.
“When we raised these issues, people said we were being alarmist and opposed to the card readers. Now the election is going on and there are challenges with the card readers all over the country,” he said.
He added that as things stand, PDP was only concerned about “free, fair and credible election”.
“All we want is for this election to be free, fair and credible. If anyone rigs this election, it would be obvious to Nigerians.”
The Peoples Democratic Party had led other groups and individuals to pose stiff opposition to the use of the card readers for the elections.