The seriousness with which the All Progressives Congress is pushing for the use of card reader in the March 28 and April 11 general elections has been described as another sinister motive by the opposition party to cause confusion during and after the election.
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, who said this in a statement made available to journalists by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, explained that the APC is known for its penchant for promoting confusion and division in Nigeria for political gain even at the expense of the well-being and unity of the country.
He explained that in as much as the usage of the card reader is noble, the preparation of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for it has been very poor.
Fayose argued that if the insistence of the APC on the use of card readers for the election is anything to go by, then there might be a “conspiracy” between the electoral body and the opposition party.
According to the statement, the governor noted that INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, has told Nigerians that the card reader battery can go flat at most five hours, “which means that unless there is alternative power supply, the machine will be rendered useless after the battery has gone flat”.
Fayose then asked: “the question now is that will the INEC provide power generators in each of the polling unit in the whole country so that by the time the battery is down the electoral officers could switch to the alternative power?”
According to him, except INEC plans to deploy generator sets nationwide, “the introduction of the card reader is nonsense”.
The governor also said that Nigerians should know that INEC has never hidden the fact that the card readers are internet base in delivery and considering the fact that most of the Nigeria towns and villages are not fixed with internet that means that the card cannot deliver until when it gets to where there is internet to deliver its result.
What this means, the governor explained, is the usage would be a “failure because a lot of contradictory information would have dealt havoc on the entire exercise before the card reader can deliver its results”.
Berating the APC for always finding fault with election results when they do not favour it, Fayose pointed that when the election in Ekiti and Osun States were conducted, INEC didn’t use the card reader, likewise in Anambra and Edo States.
He said seeing that the APC knows its presidential candidate cannot win without rigging, the party now wants Nigerians to see sense in the usage of card reader that had never been tested or acknowledged to be free from manipulation.
“I can say boldly that the leadership of APC have hidden agenda in the usage of the card reader that is why their clamour for it has been so vociferous when they know ab-initio that there is no way their party can win this election.
“They are looking for preemptive excuses for violence during and after the election so that they can gain some undue sympathy whereas the usage of the card reader is not important to the election as the availability of security which they campaigned against like hell on earth”, he said.
Governor Fayose further posited “that in all the recent elections, where has the use of card reader become a disputable discus to warrant the unwarranted campaign for it by the APC?” adding that the opposition party has abandoned campaign for its “ailing presidential candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to card reader which they believe could be manipulated in their favour and when it fails, to blame it on PDP or President Goodluck Jonathan” so that APC supporters can go to town with their chaos.
He added that APC as a party had never supported or advanced the course of progress of Nigeria, rather, he said the party enjoys seeing the nation in crisis always that is why its recent clamour for the usage of card reader has further exposed the party’s retrogressive antics.