Card Readers: Youths Storm INEC, Call For Jega's Sack

Card Readers: Youths Storm INEC, Call For Jega's Sack

Some protesting youths under the aegis of Middle Belt Con­cerned Youths (MBCY), shut down the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja yesterday, March 11, 2015.

The youths, who were protesting against the use of card readers for the forthcoming general elections, barricad­ed the entrance road to the commission, preventing staff and visitors from gaining access to the INEC building and also compelling other users of the road to seek alternative routes, The Sun reports.

They were holding placards demanding, among other things, the immediate resignation or sack of INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, over his insistence on the use of card readers for the general elec­tions.

Displaying placards with inscriptions such as “Jega, why the underage registration of voters in northern Nigeria? Jega, resign now, it seems you are not getting it right, Jega is test-running the future of Nigerians with the elec­tion, Voting is our legitimate right and we must vote,” the protesters stood face to face with a detachment of security agents who denied them fur­ther advance."

READ ALSO: PDP, APC Protesters Storm INEC Office In Rivers

Chanting ‘we are Nige­rians’, among other protest songs, the youths rebuffed attempts by the security de­partment of INEC to address them, insisting that they would only speak with Jega himself.

Yunusa Yusuf, President of the group, who addressed journalists, de­scribed the card readers as a monumental fraud, stressing: “We are (here) today to reg­ister our dissatisfaction over the failure of the PVC card reader machine.”

According to him, it has been proven that the batteries of the Card Readers do not function for more than three hours. “The question therefore is, what happens if the battery fails during the election proper, especially in the rural areas?” he queried.

He further alleged that the APC and INEC plan to rig the forthcoming elections, saying that the claims of APC supporters in Kano and Lagos states that the machines are working are mere cover-up.

READ ALSO: INEC Runs Field Tests Of Card Readers In 12 States

The youth leader further said: “In as much as we appreciate the steadfastness and enormous innovations introduced by INEC to bequeath free and fair elections to the nation, it is still the contention of majority of Nigerians that such efforts must not be sacrificed on the altar of a fool-hardy insistence of proceeding with the use of PVCs, despite the glaring imperfections inherent in them. Insisting on using them for the elections will only end up disenfranchising a huge segment of Nigeria’s voting population.”

The youths were prevented from gaining access into the building by armed policemen and other security agents, who cordoned off the INEC office.

READ ALSO: 2015 Election: Why PDP Is Opposed To Card Readers - APC

However, their protest letter was received by an Assistant Director Security, Victor Egbo, with a promise to deliver same to the commission chairman.

INEC's plan to make use of card readers in the upcoming elections has been generating a lot of steam as some are not in support of it, especially the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP).

The opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC) had alleged that the objection to card readers by the PDP is a ploy by the party to either prevent the polls from holding or to rig it.


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