The national leadership of the leading opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), has called on the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to extend the time for accreditation and voting to make up for the amount of time wherein voters across the country experienced delays by the use of card readers.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said extending the time for accreditation and voting will ensure that Nigerians who have queued up patiently at their polling units as early as 8 am will not be disenfranchised.
It also urged INEC to recognize the letters from the various political party agents, since INEC was not able to fulfil its promise to accredit party agents, which used to be done by the parties themselves.
APC commended Nigerians for their patience in getting accredited, saying by waiting patiently to get accredited, they have shown an unprecedented commitment to the growth of democracy in the country.
The party said from the reports it has received from its field agents, it is clear that that the card reader, as a tool to enhance the credibility of elections in the country, has so far proved effective, despite the delays.
”The card reader is a novel tool in our elections and naturally there will be some initial hiccups. We understand that the delays were due to the failure to remove the protective films on the lenses of many card readers, the poor network of some of the sim cards in the card readers and the effect of jamming devices on the card readers.
APC warned against the resort to manual accreditation in some parts of the country, where the card readers are being bypassed, saying it is against the electoral guidelines.
”People must continue to be patient until the card reader works,” the party said.