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Presidential Poll: Jega scores Card Readers performance high

By The Citizen
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The Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  Professor Attahiru Jega has scored the performance of Card Readers in the presidential and national assembly elections high, adding that it worked well  in the majority of Polling Units, even though there were areas where difficulties experienced necessitated.

He made this known in a press briefing in Abuja on Sunday, where said that the Commission commends Nigerians for the resilience and remarkable understanding they exhibited in the face of these difficulties.

“We hope that good conduct will continue throughout the post-election period as well.The Independent National Electoral Commission wishes to commend Nigerians for their large turnout and peaceful conduct during the National Elections held on Saturday, March 28, 2015.

“We are pleased that the elections went on smoothly in a substantial number of Polling Units across the country, including the North East where the Commission was also able to conduct voting for Internally Dispaced Persons (IDPs) in the 3 states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno.

“It is also gratifying to note that the Card Readers worked well in the majority of Polling Units, even though there were areas where difficulties experienced necessitated additional Guidelines by the Commission to allow for manual accreditation of voters, as announced yesterday. So far, Osun, Kebbi, Ekiti, Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Anambra,  Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi states have reported reverting to manual-only accreditation of voters in some Polling Units. Investigations into what accounted for the difficulties encountered with the Card Readers are ongoing.

“As a result of the operational challenges experienced, elections could not be concluded yesterday in a few polling units and therefore these will be concluded today. According to the reports so far received, elections are being concluded today as follows:

90 Polling Units in Lagos State 16 Polling Units in Kebbi State 25 Polling Units in Adamawa State 6 PUs in Niger State 37 PUs in Yobe State 8 PUs in Borno State 37 PUs in Jigawa State 13 PUs in Kano 116 PUs in Taraba State and 2 PUs in the FCT are affected.

“According to reports from our state offices, the collation of results has commenced and is going on well. The first collated results for the Presidential Election are expected at the National Collation Centre here in Abuja by this evening. Meanwhile, the Commission warns strongly against premature publication or announcement of results by unauthorized persons and media channels particularly online sites.

“Only INEC is empowered by law to announce results and it is an offence for anyone to preempt the Commission in this regard. In the course of the elections yesterday, the Commission received reports of isolated security challenges in some states that were successfully repelled. We commend the Security Agencies for their vigilance and dedication.

“We also commend our field staff, especially young men and women of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and students, who form the bulk of our ad-hoc personnel, for their bravery and commitment in the face of challenges, to ensure free, fair, and credible elections.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank key stakeholders in the electoral process who devoted much effort, time, energy and resources to ensure peaceful elections.

“The Commission reiterates its commitment to ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible and peaceful. We are happy that so far these objectives are on course. We call on all Nigerians to remain peaceful as they await the collation and return of results,” he said.