INEC To Repeat Mock Election In Ebonyi

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it would repeat public demonstration of the Smart Card Readers, SCRs, in Ebonyi on 14 March.

The Commission made the disclosure in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu, in Abuja.

There had been complaints that the card readers did not identify the fingers of many residents of the state who took part in the mock elections to test the machines in the state last week.

The mock election held in the 12 states of Rivers, Delta, Kano, Kebbi, Anambra, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Lagos, Bauchi, Taraba, Niger and Nasarawa.

The statement by Idowu said the decision was made when the Commission met on 9 March to consider field reports from the public demonstration of SCRs conducted in 12 states on Saturday, 7 March.

“The Commission took a serious view of the high rate of SCRs’ failure to authenticate voters’ fingerprints in some areas, particularly in Ebonyi State.

“It has decided to thoroughly investigate the cause and repeat the public demonstration in that state.

“This demonstration will be conducted in the particular registration area involved in the last exercise, namely Izzi Unuhu (Abakaliki Local Government Area); as well as in Ibii/Oziza Registration Area (Afikpo North LGA,” the statement said.

According to him, the repeat demonstration will be done on Saturday, 14 March.

Idowu stated that the Commission’s decision to deploy SCRs for the 2015 general elections had four main objectives.

The objectives, he added, were to verify Permanent Voter cards (PVCs) presented by voters at polling units to ensure originality and to biometrically authenticate the holder of the PVC.

According to the statement, “from the reports on last Saturday’s demonstration, these objectives were achieved 100 per cent.”

He added that 59 per cent of voters who turned out for the demonstration had their fingerprints successfully authenticated.

The INEC official stated that the SCR was meant to provide disaggregated data of accredited voters in male/female and elderly/youth categories.

“A disaggregation that is vital for research and planning purposes, but which INEC until now had been unable to achieve.

“The demonstration of last Saturday fully served this objective,” the statement added listing the fourth objective to be a command action that would transmit the data of accredited voters to a central server at INEC Headquarters.

“The public demonstration also succeeded wholly in this regard,” it said.

INEC said it was satisfied with the general conduct of the mock election and the effectiveness of the card readers adding that the process engendered tremendous transparency and credibility to the accreditation process.

INEC also announced that it had distributed 55,490,031 Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, nationwide, out of the 68,833,479 registered voters.

The figure, according to the commission, represents 80.61 per cent of registered voters.

The statistics showed that the commission had attained 95.97 and 95.91 per cent in Zamfara and Jigawa states respectively in the distribution of PVCs.

It had also attained 47.52 per cent in Ogun, having distributed 869,528 PVCs in the state which represented the least in the distribution level so far.


Source: The News Nigeria