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JUST IN: PDP, APC square up at collation centre over Smart Card Readers

The collation agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday at the National collation centre, openly confronted each other over the usage of the Smart Card Readers (SCR) in the last Saturday’s Presidential election.

It all began when the PDP agent and a former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka said his party had written a petition to INEC.

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According to him, the PDP was worried that the promise the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made that during the collation of results, the details of accreditation captured by the card reader in the country would be provided.

“Yesterday, my colleague raised the issue and we thought that when we come back this morning as we are listening to the states, we will be seeing the accreditation by the states by the card reader.

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“This, Mr. Chairman, I like it to be on record that we want to see the accreditation for Bauchi state, for Borno state and Yobe in particular and of course, for the rest of the country because the number as we are seeing, it seems to me that we live in two countries.

“Why people in the south have issues with the SCR, why complaints were all over the place, we seem to have quiet and peaceful elections in places where the people have complained of severe cases of insecurity and harassment by the military and bandits.

“So, we would like you, Mr. Chairman, and I forward this letter to you to say that we will appeal that if it is possible. Mr. Chairman, that before we proceed to the next state, you should please, project to us what the card reader has captured as the accreditation in these states.

“We are supposed to read from the card reader, the electronic collation as against the manual information that we are getting to process information here. While it isn’t yet signed into law in your guidelines it was made clear that no voting should take place where there are no card reader. So, Mr. Chairman, we must appeal to you that we would like you to project these accreditation as done by the card reader,” Chidoka said.

In his swift reaction, the APC agent, Mr. Festus Keyamo, faulted Mr. Chidoka’s claims.

He said the INEC Chairman was empowered to fix guidelines on the conduct at the collation centre.

Responding, the INEC boss, Prof. Yakubu, said there is a procedure for submitting correspondence to the Commission.

“We haven’t shut down our office. This is the International Conference Centre where we are using as collation centre. Kindly submit your letter to the office, it will be acknowledged. Your letter will now be studied and we will respond, accordingly. I believe that there are details in the letter that we need to study,” Yakubu said.

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