Protesters Shut Down INEC Over Card Readers

From Romanus Ugwu

Thousands of protest­ing youths yesterday prevented staff and visitors from gaining access to the headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja.

The youths, who barricad­ed the entrance road to the commission, also compelled other users of the road to seek alternative routes.

The protesters, under the auspices of Middle Belt Con­cerned Youths (MBCY), ar­rived the Zambezi Crescent, Maitama District, Abuja headquarters of INEC in the early hours of yesterday with placards demanding, among other things, the immediate resignation or sack of the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, over his insistence on the use of card readers for the general elec­tions.

Displaying placards with inscriptions such as “Jega, why the underage registration of voters in northern Nigeria? Jega, resign now, it seems you are not getting it right, Jega is test-running the future of Nigerians with the elec­tion, Voting is our legitimate right and we must vote,” the protesters stood face to face with a detachment of security agents who denied them fur­ther advance.

Chanting ‘we are Nige­rians’, among other protest songs, the youths rebuffed attempts by the security de­partment of INEC to address them, insisting that they would only speak with Jega himself.

President of the Federal Capital Territory chapter of MBCY, Yunusa Yusuf, who addressed journalists, de­scribed the card readers as a monumental fraud, stressing: “We are (here) today to reg­ister our dissatisfaction over the failure of the PVC card reader machine.”


Source: Daily Sun