The hullaba loo over the use or otherwise of the card reader for the March 28 and Aril 11 elections in the country may afterall die a natural death as the card reader test conducted by theIndependent National Electoral Commission(INEC) in Lagos State and some other states in the country have proved somewhat successful.
The card reader test which held yesterday in designated states like Ekiti, Delta, Niger, Lagos saw a good number of residents coming out with their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) for the mock
The exercise was reported to have taken place smoothly for some, within only a few minutes and they are done, while for others it took quite sometime before their thumb print could be recognised by the card reader.
He added that some other persons from some other wards came out to check if they could be accredited but the card reader rejected the cards with an “OPC message which means Other Polling Cards”.
Some voters in an interview with some journalists who monitored the exercise, lauded the exercise while others pointed out a few challenges that should be looked into by INEC.
In Lagos, south-west Nigeria, the exercise took place at Ikeja Primary School in the GRA, on Fajuyi road, one of the 30 Polling Units in Onigbongbo Ward, IkejaLocal Government Area of the State.
It was discovered that as people were trickling in,INEC officials used the opportunity to map out
the process, accompanied by State Security operatives.
He also said the time frame for the testing of the card readers ranged from about 5 seconds to a
minute, adding that the issue of cloned cards had not been recorded, even as those whose cards
had been tested still hung around to observe the exercise.
Reports from Taraba State where the exercise took place said it was a huge success with record attendance by people of voting age.
Meanwhile,the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP,has said that it noticed a series of complaints on the exercise regarding lapses experienced by people in some states.
According to PDP National Publicity Secretary,Olisa Metuh, the worrisome fall out from the card reader test “vindicates earlier widespread calls by stakeholders that the card readers should be thoroughly put to test to ascertain their workability for free, fair and credible elections before being deployed for actual polls”.
The PDP gave the reported lapses which include but not limited to non verification of voters ‘fingerprints even after authenticating their PVCs, apparent inadequate knowledge of the card readers by both INEC officials and voters and slow accreditation process as a result of poor internet server operations in some locations