Card Reader Breaks Down At Dogara’s Polling Unit

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, experienced a minor glitch as he tried to vote at his polling unit in Gwaranga primary school.

Dogara arrived the polling unit in his village Gwaranga, Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State, alongside his wife.

At the point of accreditation, the card reader failed to authenticate his fingerprints.

READ ALSO: Atiku, Wife Cast Their Votes In Adamawa

INEC officials, however, found a way to fix the situation, allowing the lawmaker and his wife to vote.

After casting his vote, Dogara commended the voting process at his polling unit, describing it as a reflection of a truly democratic process.

He said, “But this is just one polling unit in perhaps hundreds of thousands across Nigeria.

So, if what is transpiring here is what is happening across the length and breadth of Nigeria, then I can say that this meets the standards of a democratic election.”

Earlier, the card reader had failed to authenticate his fingerprints but he was later allowed to cast his vote after his identity was verified using the voter register.

On what how he would assess the conduct of the polls, the Speaker said, “I think to some extent, INEC has shown that they intend to deliver a very credible, transparent and free and fair elections.

I think that intention is known but you know it doesn’t just take INEC. They would need the cooperation of the security agencies to be able to do that. My fear is that maybe that is where INEC may be betrayed.”

Similarly, three card readers broke down at the polling unit of Governor Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna.

According to our reporter on the ground, the incident took place at Unit 024 Ungwar Sariki ward where the governor is expected to vote.

The three card readers developed a technical fault midway into accreditation and voting.  But INEC officials are making efforts to fix the situation.

Card Readers Will Automatically Shut Down By 10PM On Election Day – INEC Chairman

Card Readers Will Automatically Shut Down By 10PM On Election Day – INEC Chairman
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, speaks during a briefing in Abuja on February 20, 2019.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says card readers will shutdown automatically by 10PM on the day of elections.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja during a briefing on the progress made by the commission following the postponement of the general elections.

He said, “They (the card readers) are configured to specific polling units and only open for use at 8AM on the Election Day; they will automatically shut down by 10PM in order to forestall any illegal use of the card readers before the appointed time for elections.”

Professor Yakubu explained that the card readers were introduced in 2015 to facilitate the accreditation of the electorate using the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC).

READ ALSO: General Elections: No Military Escorts For Politicians, Says Buratai

 

Following the postponement of the elections, he said they were reconfigured to the new date of February 23, to make them impossible to be used for ulterior motives.

The INEC boss reminded the audience at the briefing that he had hinted at the success recorded so far in the reconfiguration process.

He said, “Yesterday (Tuesday), I reported 95 per cent completion of the configuration. I am pleased to report that we have now achieved 100 per cent completion of the configuration. We are good to go on this call”.

Professor Yakubu noted that the electoral body has made good progress on logistics, a major reason that led to the postponement of the elections.

He disclosed that the deployment of materials to all states across the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had been completed.

The INEC chairman added that 10 states had already begun the movement of the materials to the local governments while other states would do so and conclude on Thursday.

The states highlighted by Professor Yakubu are Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, and Taraba.

The presidential and National Assembly elections have been rescheduled to take place on Saturday while the governorship and State House of Assembly would hold on March 9.

No Third Parties Are Involved In Configuration Of Card Readers – INEC Chairman

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says no third parties are involved in the configuration of card readers.

The INEC Chairman, said this on Tuesday while responding to questions during a press briefing in Abuja.

He said, “I want to assure the person who asked the question and assure the nation that no third parties are involved in the configuration of smart card readers of the Commission.

“The dispatching, white-listing, installation, upgrading of software, configuration of smart card readers are done entirely by the officials of the Commission.

“So there is no way any vendor outside can be involved in the configuration of our smart card readers.

“So it is not true that anybody is involved in the configuration of the smart card readers in any way.

“This is entirely done by the Commission’s IT under the supervision at state level of HODs ICT or some official from headquarters of the Commission so there is no way any vendor can partake in the configuration of smart card readers”.

Read Also: No Commissioner Or Director Was Arrested, Says INEC Boss

Speaking further, the INEC boss noted that the Commission as of Monday, had achieved 95 per cent configuration of the 180,000 smartcard readers and the process would be completed by Wednesday.

Professor Yabuku again offered his regrets over the postponement of the elections, saying the Commission is working hard to ensure that the rescheduled elections hold and are free and fair.

He said INEC takes full responsibility and acknowledges the inconveniences and cost of the shift in dates.

Furthermore, he thanked Nigerians and all election stakeholders for their understanding, despite the difficulties occasioned by the change.

We Have Achieved 95% Reconfiguration Of 180,000 Card Readers – INEC

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the process of reconfiguration of smart card readers for the general elections is almost complete.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at a briefing on the measures taken so far to ensure the success of the scheduled polls.

“You’ll recall that in my last address to stakeholders, I mentioned that we intended to deploy the smartcard readers and we identified very clear timelines for the delivery of the smartcard readers,” he said.

The INEC boss added, “I want to report that as at last night (Monday), we have achieved 95 per cent configuration of the 180,000 smartcard readers, and this process is going to be completed early morning on Wednesday, clear one day ahead of schedule.”

We Have Achieved 95% Reconfiguration Of 180,000 Card Readers – INEC
A file photo of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

 

Professor Yabuku again offered his regrets over the postponement of the elections, saying the commission was working hard to ensure that the rescheduled elections hold and were free and fair.

According to him, INEC takes full responsibility and acknowledges the inconveniences and cost of the shift in dates.

The INEC chairman thanked Nigerians and all stakeholders in the polls for their understanding, despite the difficulties occasioned by the change.

He recalled that he had announced an adjusted schedule of activities that would lead to the elections scheduled to commence on Saturday.

Professor Yabuku identified eight activities the commission has highlighted as part of measures to actualise the new timetable.

They cover three broad areas which include deployment of materials, movement of personnel, and configuration of card readers while timelines were assigned to each of them.

The INEC boss said, “By 4:00pm yesterday (Monday), all issues relating to the delivery of materials were identified and virtually addressed.

“Ballot papers, result sheets, and a host of non-sensitive materials are now in location across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.”

“Our state offices commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week and witness the batching of materials according to local government areas. This is ongoing at the moment and is expected to be completed today,” he added.

INEC Reconfigures Card Readers, Retrieves Sensitive Election Materials

File Photo.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission has reconfigured some card readers in Adamawa State following the retrieval of sensitive materials for the general elections.

The sensitive materials had been distributed ahead of the elections which were initially scheduled to hold on February 16.

They have, however, now been deposited at the Central Bank of Nigeria following the postponement of the elections.

Also, in Ekiti State, INEC officials have taken stakeholders to the Central Bank to confirm the state of sensitive materials returned.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state had raised an alarm that the materials may have been tampered with to favour the All Progressives Congress (APC) because according to them, the sensitive materials were returned late.

Consequently, INEC, political parties, heads of security agencies as well as journalists went to the CBN to verify.

The electoral umpire, however, assured people of the state that it remains committed to ensuring a credible exercise next week.

#AnambraDecides: INEC Blames Corps Members For Late Arrival Of Materials

Corps members participating in the election preparing to leave for their various polling units

The Independent National Electoral Commission’s National Commissioner, Mr Solomon Soyebi, has blamed the late arrival of electoral materials at several polling units in Anambra on corps members.

Mr Soyebi told Channels Television in Anambra today that some of the did not have the right attitude towards the exercise and were hesitant to go to some areas.

“We have some problems with the corpers, especially those that we brought from outside the state. Most of them did not want to go to where they were posted,” he said.

“There was a mix-up in the posting of corpers, it is caused by corpers’ mix-up. In fact, in Awka-South here, we had to shift about 180 (corps members) to Nnewi-North and South at about 8:30, that is going to cause some delay.”

Mr Soyebi is, however, confident that the logistic challenges including card readers failure in some instances would not undermine the election.

“About four of them (card readers) have failed but they have been replaced I can assure you. We told you yesterday that they are machines that are bound to malfunction but definitely they have addressed that issue very promptly,” he said.

INEC National Commissioner, Mr Solomon Soyebi

 

Accreditation and voting, are, however, going on smoothly in many polling units.

Asked for details about the case of an elderly man arrested earlier by security officials who accuse him of trying to woo voters with cash, Soyebi said he had not been briefed about the incident.

He, however, gave the assurance that cases of electoral malpractice would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

The candidates of the United Progressive Party and Progressive People’s Alliance, Osita Chidoka and Godwin Ezeemo, respectively, have criticised the delay in the arrival of electoral materials.

According to Ezeemo, the delay appears to be part of a plan to disenfranchise his supporters.

INEC To Deploy 6,200 Card Readers For Anambra Election

Anambra REC, Nkwachukwu Orji

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will deploy 6,200 card readers to Anambra State as part of preparations to ensure a successful governorship election in the state.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Nkwachukwu Orji, made the disclosure on Saturday when he appeared on Sunrise, Channels Television’s weekend breakfast show.

“We have exactly 6,200 card readers provided for this election. It is 1,000 more than what we had in the 2015 elections,” he said.

Orji stressed further that adequate measures have been put in place to ensure some unpleasant incidents recorded during the last governorship election in the state do not occur again.

According to him, “What we have done is to avoid that situation; we have ensured that we tested all the card readers.”

“We brought out the card readers, we put the batteries in them, power them on and make sure they run very well and then test them with a PVC to ensure that they are efficient.

“We have done that for all of the 6,200 card readers we intend to deploy for the election. Bearing any other unforeseen technical challenges, I am so sure that the card readers will be efficient this time,” he added.

On steps taken by INEC to manage emergency cases during the November 18 poll, the REC hinted that Rapid Response Teams would be on ground to address such situation.

He said, “So we will be having rapid response teams in the local governments and rapid response teams in the state and INEC has created a layer of staff known as the Field Technical Officer – these are technicians and experts who have been prepared at the ward level.

“We have 326 wards in Anambra State and we have deployed each of these in each of the wards to be able to respond to emergencies, technical challenges that might arise as the elections progress.”

Electoral Institute Urges Continuous Use Of Card Readers

Elections, Card Readers, Electoral InstituteAn organ of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) responsible for research and training for electoral officers, the Electoral Institute (EI), has urged the commission to sustain the use of smart card readers in future elections.

The Director of the institute, Professor Abubakar Momoh, made the appeal at a forum in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Professor Momoh explained that the meeting was convened to discuss the gains and challenges of the use of smart card readers in the 2015 elections.

“The whole idea of this round-table is to have a conversation around what went wrong with the card readers in the 2015 general election (and) what were the unintended consequences and backlash from the use of the card readers.”

The EI boss described the use of the card readers in the 2015 elections as a game changer.

He stated that the innovation of the technology had helped to reduce instances of over-bloated voters register.

A former INEC National Commissioner, Mr Nuhu Yakubu, also appealed to INEC to sustain the use of the card readers in future elections.

Mr Yakubu was of the belief that the technology had set a new standard for elections in Nigeria.

“The use of the smart cards and the companion card readers had become the minimum standard for the conduct of elections by the commission.

“This must not only be sustained but be improved upon in future elections,” he said.

Other resource persons at the event highlighted some of the challenges experienced with the use of card readers during the last general polls which include rejection of cards, poor battery issues and inability to capture fingerprints among others.

Edo Governorship Election: Polls Going On Smoothly – INEC

INEC-on-Edo-governorship-electionThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says polls have been going on smoothly so far in the Edo State governorship election.

INEC National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, said the electoral process was going on as expected while the INEC officials and security agents were working professionally.

Mrs Zakari made the observation in an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday at one of the polling centres in Benin City, the state’s capital in south-south Nigeria.

“It (the electoral process) has gone based on our expectation.

“The ad-hoc staff are working professionally (and) the security agents are doing their work (while) the people of Edo State are actually doing what we expect of them.

“They are behaving adequately, they are lined up neatly and everything is going smoothly,” she said.

Card Readers Shorten Period Of Elections

The INEC official noted that the innovation where the electorates vote immediately after accreditation was yielding result compared to the old system.

She explained that as voting and accreditation take place simultaneously, more voters have been able to exercise their franchise, enabling the commission save time it spends to conduct elections.

“It allows more voters to come out (and) it reduces apathy because most elites did not like the old system but they can now come and vote peacefully and go back to their homes.

“It is something we should continue with the cooperation of all stakeholders, especially the voters and the card readers have actually shortened the period of elections,” she said.

Mrs Zakari further expressed pleasure with the usage of the card readers, saying it has also contributed greatly to the progress of the elections.

Although there were hitches with card readers at some polling points, she was happy that the technical support team deployed by INEC were able to manage the situation.

“Yes they (the card readers) are working, but you must expect some hitches here and there. We have deployed about 200 technical support.

“We have one technical support for each registration area (that is 192) and we have 36 senior technical support (two per local government).

“We’ve had hitches here and there and they are being replaced or repaired and we have continued voting”, she added.

2015 Elections, One Of The Most Rigged In Nigeria – Observer

ElectionA Legal Practitioner and observer during the 2015 elections, Ikechukwu Ikeji, says the just concluded election was one of the most rigged elections he had ever witnessed in Nigeria, despite being considered free and fair.

Speaking on a breakfast show, Sunrise Daily on Channels Television on Monday, Mr Ikeji accused INEC officials of being compromised, stressing further that the politicians themselves were out to rig and those who won simply outwitted those who lost.

“Just about every politicians I came across was in the game of rigging. Nothing can be farther from the truth than that these elections were fair and free.

“In fact I have to be honest, this is one of the most rigged elections I have witnessed. I was in the field and I can tell you that electoral offences were rampant,” Mr Ikeji said.

On card readers, the election observer expressed dissatisfaction. He said that the card readers did not work in many areas he went to.

He said that they (the electorate) had agreed not to use the card readers, revealing that he clearly saw people coming back to vote twice while some voted three times in both national and state elections.

He added also that some polling units were dominated by some political parties, as they were able to buy the minds of voters and the electoral officials.

Mr Ikeji also said that all materials for the election should have been present at the commencement of the voting, including the result sheets, which various political party agents should verify.

He also indicted some election observers saying many of them were compromised and carried out their duties with bias.

He reacted to the statement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that it had commenced the compilation of all electoral offences recorded in the 2015 general elections with a view to prosecuting those found wanting.

The legal practitioner said that it was a good statement by INEC that they would prosecute electoral offenders, but noted that the solution does not just lie in advocacy, pronouncement or trying to put technology in place to obviate the need for politicians to rig.

He advised that the attraction in elective and political public positions be reduced to discourage politicians wanting to get to position by all means.

Jonathan Directs MDAs To Submit Hand-over Notes

Jonathan-FECThe President has directed all ministries, departments and agencies to submit their handover notes to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by the 20th of April.

President Goodluck Jonathan further stressed that  the directive is to ensure a smooth transition to the next government.

Briefing state house correspondents on the outcome of Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting, the Minister of Information, Mrs Patricia Akwashiki said that the President also asked the ministers to come up with a list of the inherited projects.

The Minister further said that President Jonathan also directed the ministers to submit a list of the projects that have been executed as well as all projects initiated by his administration, as well as on-going or abandoned ones so that he would have a comprehensive package to hand over.

Mrs Akwashiki added: “This does not mean that government activities have come to an end as the government would continue to function until the hand over date on May 29.”

Electoral Materials Arrive Cross-River Ahead of Saturday’s Polls

election The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River State, Sylvester Ezeani has taken delivery of all necessary materials ahead of Saturday’s election.

Receiving the materials at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Calabar, the State Capital, Ezeani reiterated the preparedness of the commission to hold Saturday’s polls devoid of challenges as witnessed during the March elections.

Mr Ezeani maintained that, over 2000 card readers to be used for the polls have been effectively reconfigured to enable the machines function effectively without causing unnecessary delays as experienced during the last elections.

Mr Ezeani however, assured the people of the State, of conducting a free, fair and credible polls acceptable by the electorates.