The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the poor working of the Permanent Voter Card readers in Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections across the country could have been avoided if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had listened to sound advice from well meaning individuals and organizations regarding its use without proper testing.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Saturday said the last-minute resort to manual accreditation by INEC, hours into the exercise, against its earlier guidelines, clearly shows the failure of the system.
“The unfortunate development is a vindication of our earlier position that as good as the idea of card readers is, it was too virgin to be successfully used in a general election without proper testing especially in an environment as ours that is not entirely digitally proficient,” the party said.
It described as a huge national embarrassment that the card reader had problems in accrediting President Goodluck Jonathan, Governors Jonah Jang, of Plateau, James Ngilari of Adamawa, Isa Yuguda of Buachi among others and called for full explanation from INEC.
The PDP equally frowned at reported cases of accreditation of under-aged persons in some states especially in the northern part of the country and called on INEC not only to ensure that such unqualified persons were not allowed to vote but also to prosecute its officials involved in the crime.
The ruling party said it was seriously concerned about the developments, given the avowed commitment of the Jonathan administration to a hitch-free, fair and credible electoral process.
It therefore charged the electoral commission to take urgent steps within the law to ensure that no willing and qualified voter is disenfranchised, while urging Nigerians to remain calm in the overall interest of the nation.