No Election will Be Conducted without Card Reader, Says Kaduna REC

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Staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) start confirming over again 7,000 portable permanent voter card (PVC) readers ahead of the postponed predidential and general election at the River State INEC office in Port Harcourt, southern Nigeria, on February 18, 2019. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP)

By John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Kaduna State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abdullahi Kaugama, has warned that no election will be conducted without a card reader.

Addressing a joined press conference on Saturday’s Governorship and State Assembly elections with Ahmad Abdulrahman, the Kaduna State Police Commissioner, the REC said the result of any election conducted without the use of the card reader would be rejected.

He said the challenges that were witnessed during the presidential election had been addressed, assuring Nigerians that elections would commence on time as scheduled.

According to him, the card reader is the election itself and no election result would be accepted if the card reader is not used.

“The card reader is election itself. No card reader, no voting. This is just to let you know that card reader operators were given refresher training.

“We have 34,000 ad hoc staff to conduct the elections and out of this figure, 10,000 staff are members of the NYSC, while the rest number are from other higher insitutions.

“Our staff are people of high integrity who are capable of conducting the election process. We sourced them from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, so they are capable for the election jobs,” Kaugama said.

He said all election materials have been deployed in the 23 local governments in the state, adding that issues of late arrival of election materials and malfunctioning card readers had been addressed and elections will commence at every polling unit by 8:00am.

On his part, Abdulrahman, the Kaduna State Police Commissioner, warned that those who have no business to move around on election day should stay off the streets.

He also said food vendors are banned from all polling units to guard against politicians who might want to capitalise on that to buy votes.

He said adequate security measures had been put in place to ensure peaceful conduct of the elections.

“We have finished our deployment, we have banned food vendor from poll units areas in order to stop them from the likelihood of accommodating vote-buyers.

“We have ordered for good number of helicopters to hover around the state during the election.

“We will pick anybody wandering about without PVC and keep him or her where necessary until the election is over.

“We have equally banned members of the vigilante from coming out with dangerous weapons during the election. In fact, we have arrested 34 of them so far; they look deadly,” the police commissioner said.