Don't use card readers in Bayelsa guber poll, youths tell INEC

A coalition of youth groups in Bayelsa State has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, not to use card reader machines for accreditation of voters during the December 5, 2015 governorship election in the state.

The group urged INEC to adopt the use of manual voting system, so as to authenticate the validity of age-long genuine and credible manual process of voting in the state. They insisted that there is no constitutional provision mandating the use of card reader machines by the electoral body.

In a letter signed by Comrade Charles Omosuke, Olayinka Deidor and two others and addressed to the INEC chairman, copy of which was made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Saturday, it said the use of card reader machines is a notion initiated by the immediate past INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, which has not giving transparency to the country's electoral process.

Excerpts of the letter reads, “We are urging INEC to transparently display the up-to-date voter' registers per unit with passports of voters on them. Secondly, that INEC should jettison the card reader machines as it is marred with irregularities as we fear that the enormity of its irregularities could trigger violent and wanton disruption of the December 5, election in Bayelsa State, because even if the Kogi State electorates were ignorant of the monumental electronic fraud that led to rigging.

“We are urging INEC to adopt the use of manual voting system in Bayelsa gubernatorial election to authenticate the validity of the age-long, genuine, and credible manual process in Bayelsa State. You will agree with us that there is no constitutional provision mandating the use of card reader machines by INEC, but only a notion initiated by Professor Attahiru Jega, which is not giving transparency in the process.”

The group described the yet-to-be concluded governorship election in Kogi State as a hyper and most sophisticated scam,saying the Kogi election was rigged in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), without the people of the state knowing.

They said, “We, on behalf of the teeming Niger Delta youth leaders are constrained to express our worries at the high level of the electronic electoral fraud (rigging) that took place in Kogi State gubernatorial elections, to the ignorance of the majority or larger electorates, who are oblivious of the electronic rigging.

“We are compelled to state categorically that the Kogi election was a hyper and most sophisticated scam. One would wonder why the card readers were manipulated by the operators to fail in areas of high PDP voters' presence or density.

“INEC has been unable to identify and expose the secret electronic link which the APC has been using to hack into INEC database right from the presidential elections till date. It will be recalled that the former DSS boss discovered and exposed how APC had hacked into INEC database, but was quickly intercepted and all its facts swept under the carpet by APC, its acolytes and propagandists.

“It is an open secret that the last elections that was conducted by INEC was on March 28, and April 11; seven months after, it is most frightening, weird and absurd that the same card reader machines remained in an un-serviced, mal-functioned and obsolete condition until it was used in the Kogi election.This can only happen when there is a calculated attempt by the authorities to manipulate the processes in favour of the candidate of their choice at the expense of the entire electorates.”

-Emmanuel Ikechukwu
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