Card Reader fails to Accredit Lady Ekweremadu

Card Reader fails to Accredit Ekweremadu, Wife
… As he calls on INEC to allow Nigerians with PVCs to Vote
The Card Reader deployed at Amachara Mpu Ward 010 in Aninri Local Government Area failed to accredit the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Dr. Nwanneka Ekweremadu.
Although the Card Reader recognised their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, the fingerprint authentication process failed despite several attempts.
Addressing newsmen after the exercise, the Deputy President of the Senate expressed serious concern over the incident.
He said: “As you can see, there is huge voter turnout, despite the scorching sun, but we are having the same problem, as the Card Reader does not seem to be working optimally. It is delaying the process, and a lot of people cannot have their PVCs or fingerprints read. Mine was not successful and that of my wife was not successful either. I do not know if I will be able to vote until voting starts unless the INEC provides an alternative.
“This is what you get when people do not listen to advice. They think most advice is borne out of partisanship. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was emphatic about the issue of Card Readers. As a person, I believe in technology. I believe in the use of electronic means as a perfect way of conducting elections, but you cannot do this kind of thing in Nigeria with a voter population of over 60 million when you have not tried it before”.
The Deputy President of the Senate, who recalled that Ghana faced such problems when the Card Readers were deployed for the first time, reiterated that the INEC should have introduced the technology incrementally.
He added: “We had expected that the INEC would listen to the advice of Nigerians. This is supposed to be done as a pilot scheme during bye or smaller elections. We cannot be deploying these kind of machines in a huge and important election such as this where you have presidential, senatorial, and House of Representatives elections in one day; and you are test-running a machine that you have not used before”.
He therefore urged the INEC to “discard the issue of the Card Reader and use it in subsequent elections when it would have been tried and perfected”.
“The Card Reader is a good idea, but the truth of the matter is that you cannot just manufacture an aircraft, then you put passengers on it and start flying without test-running and perfecting it; you would be risking their lives; and that is exactly why we are getting what we are getting now”, he emphasised.
On the way forward, he called on the INEC Chairman to “send out words to its people to ensure that whosoever has his PVC is allowed to vote because that is what the Electoral Act says”
”The Electoral Act does not recognise Card Readers anyway; it does not know anything about the Card Reader; and if people are allowed to vote with their PVCs, it will be in compliance with the Electoral Act and the Constitution”, he explained.
On the reported incidents of bombing in parts of the South East, Enugu inclusive, Senator Ekweremadu decried the incident, but noted that he believed the security agencies were well prepared for such challenges.
He said: “I am in touch with the security agencies over the incident, and I am happy that no life was lost. That is the most important thing. We should just make sure that our security agencies are on red alert so that no such incident happens again in the country throughout the elections”.
On the rumours that the bomb explosions could have been geared towards keeping the people of the South East away from the polling booths, the lawmaker said Nigerians were resolute about the elections and they are coming out in their numbers.