PDP challenges INEC on card readers

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to tidy up its acts preparatory to the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State.

In a statement by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party called on the electoral umpire to end what it described as INEC’s apparent tilt towards underhandedness in the processes leading to the election.

The PDP’s call is coming against the backdrop of INEC’s perceived failure to openly inform stakeholders on the election modalities, particularly the use of card readers.

The party also faulted the refusal of the electoral body to disclose the mode of accreditation, voting, as well as collation, transmission and declaration of election results from the polling units to the final declaration.

Owing to these lapses, the PDP has raised questions on the sincerity of the commission to deliver a credible election.

The party said suppression of such vital information ahead of a crucial election had heightened suspicion and allegations of conspiracies between INEC and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to muddle up and manipulate the electoral processes to favour the ruling APC.

The situation, the PDP noted, was already generating tension in the state, stressing that voters in the state had insisted on having a transparent, free and credible election that would only reflect their wishes and aspirations at the polls.

The statement read: “Our party forewarns the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, not to cause trouble in Kogi State by immediately declaring the mode of transmission of results given the claims by the commission, before the Presidential Election Petition Panel, that it does not have a server.

“The PDP charges the INEC Chairman not to allow the Commission to be entangled with the sinister plots of the APC. He should immediately clear the air on the manner of accreditation of voters, checking of voter register disparities, the modality for voting as well as whether the commission will deploy manual or electronic transmission of election results to the final declaration.

“The PDP wants INEC to know that the party and the people of Kogi State are not leaving anything to chances in this election.

“For the people of Kogi State, this election marks their irrevocable determination to entrench a new order in their state and they are not ready to accept any process that does not point to assurances of a transparent, credible, free and fair election.

“Our party, therefore, requests the management of INEC to provide answers to these crucial issues within the next 24 hours as its silence is already spawning anxieties, which are capable of triggering serious crisis ahead of the election.”