Obi Decries Failed Card Readers, Says Nigeria Must Get Elections Right

Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the February 23 polls, Mr. Peter Obi, has decried what he called “persistent lack of preparedness” on the part of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He spoke shortly after he could not, at 9:00 a.m., vote at his Umumasiaku Polling Unit, Amatutu, Agulu, Anambra State. The former Anambra State Governor, who eventually voted at 10:36 a.m. after the card reader was put in order, lamented the repeat of what happened during the presidential election, when card readers did not work in many places, which INEC acknowledged and promised to correct.

“It is a shame that the same problem repeated itself on grander scale today, with news of faulty card readers all over the state. This has raised the issue of whether the problems are genuine or contrived for other purposes,” Obi said.

He noted that banks use different types of cards, including ATM cards with microchip processors, and they work very well. He wondered why INEC cards should not work.

On who eventually wins, Obi said his position was clear: “I am not so much interested in who wins the State Assembly election as it is family business. My position is that the best candidates should win in order to bring democratic dividend to the people of the state.”

Sounding a bit worried, Obi said it was a shame that in this age and time, when other nations were talking about electronic voting and reducing electoral malpractices to the minimum, in Nigeria, as witnessed during today’s voting, stories of rigging and sundry electoral malpractices are the order of the day. He warned that if Nigeria does not get the electoral process right, it would experience problems both now and in the future.

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