The All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that the objection to the use of card readers in the coming election by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a ploy by the party to either prevent the polls from holding or to rig it.
According to The Nation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the APC’s national publicity secretary, made these allegations in a statement in Lagos yesterday, March 5, in reaction to PDP’s stance to oppose the use of card readers in the coming elections
APC said in collusion with PDP, some 15 portfolio political parties called a news conference to also announce that they will oppose the use of card readers, vowing to boycott the elections and use a legal process to prevent use of the machine.
The party noted that the opposition to the use of card readers in the coming elections was an indication that those in the corridors of power see the machine as the nemesis of those opposed to the idea of a free and fair election.
APC said Nigerians were ready for free, fair and credible elections to be made possible by the use of the card reader, adding that the citizenry would massively resist any move to dump the machine.
“Nigerians have sacrificed all they can to obtain their PVCs, which are now their most-prized possession. They have also hailed the plan by INEC to use the card reader to give Nigeria credible polls.
“Only dishonest politicians, those who plan to rig, those who have engaged in a massive purchase of PVCs and those who have something to hide are opposed to use of the machine.
“For the avoidance of doubt, our party is ready for any tool, including the card reader, that will ensure that the votes of Nigerians will count in the election. In this regard, we sincerely hope that the nationwide tests of the card reader to be carried out this week by INEC will not be sabotaged by those opposed to the machine.
“The card reader has been demonstrated to work, including at the Senate, and no one must come out to tell Nigerians anything to the contrary.
APC added that it was taking the elections very serious and closely monitoring every move of those who do not want the elections to hold, “or if they must hold at all, only on their terms”.
Meanwhile, the chairman INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega has shifted a meeting with resident electoral commissioners (RECs) to Wednesday, March 11. The meeting which was initially scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 4, is to enable the commissioners to give the chairman feedback on the distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards and other preparations for the elections.