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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says Card Readers would be used in the forthcoming rerun elections in Rivers state.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in the state, Aniede Ikoiwak stated this at a one-day interactive session held with political Parties and stakeholders held in Port Harcourt, the state capital Tuesday.
The rerun elections for the 32 national and state Houses of Assembly cancelled by the court of Appeal last December are to be held March 19. Ikoiwak said Card Reader is the major instrument recommended by INEC for the accreditation of voters for the polls but also said that incident forms would be used to compliment card readers in special situations as approved by the electoral umpire.
He blamed the reported failure of card Readers in the past elections in the state on activities of dubious people who deliberately removed the batteries to enable them manipulate the election/results, but assured that measures had been put in place to prevent reoccurrence.
He enjoined the various political parties to conduct themselves maturely during the exercise, he expressed regrets that the rerun ordered by the courts were more in the South-south states.
According to him, INEC would work with the new modified system in which accreditation of voters and voting will begin by 8:00 and ends by 2:00pm, in all polling units. “We are going to use the card reader , the new modified system.
The accreditation will commence by 8am and end 2pm . We have to be mature, in the whole of the South West , no rerun election was ordered in the South West. “INEC came with incident form to complement card reader but some thought it was to circumvent card reader. This is wrong, card reader is for peculiar situations where fingers were not authenticated, ” he said.
The REC noted that adhoc staff for the election would be engaged in line with the stipulated guidelines.
In their separate responses, the APC and PDP senatorial candidates for Rivers East, Andrew Uchendu and George Sekibo respectively commended the REC for the session, and called for level playing ground for all contestants, expressing the hope that in free and fair elections losers will be free to congratulate winners.
Also reacting the state PDP chairman, Felix Obuah assured INEC of the readiness of Politicians to do the right thing in the exercise, but challenged the electoral body on a smooth electoral process.
source: the sun