Card readers: Party chairmen disagree with PDP over call for INEC boss’s removal 

A major crisis is now rocking the once united opposition Political Parties as the Forum of Chairmen of Nigeria Political Parties, on Sunday, sharply disagreed with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the efficacy of the smart Card Reader.

No fewer than 55 members of the Forum of Chairmen of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) have disowned PDP over its recent call for the resignation of Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu over the controversy trialling the efficacy of the Smart Card Readers device.

The Group in a statement signed by its Chairman who is also the Chairman of the National Unity Party, Chief Perry Opara which was made available to Newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, argued that PDP used the Supreme Court to torpedo the little gains recorded in the electoral system during its reign.

Recall that the PDP recently kicked against the efficacy of the device and demanded the immediate resignation of the Chairman of the INEC, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood over the development

However, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, on Sunday, by the Chairman of the National Unity Party (NUP), for the Forum of Chairmen of Nigeria Political Parties, Chief Perry Opara, the opposition parties kicked against the new position of the PDP over the efficacy of the device and the call for the resignation of the INEC boss.

According to the statement, “it is clear to even less political minds that the Smart Card Reader’s efficacy has been politically and judicially neutralized and it must be mentioned that this was largely done by members of the PDP who argued before the Supreme Court against its relevance in relation to the Voter Register.

“The Supreme Court only agreed with the arguments of the PDP and therefore neutralized the Smart Card Reader.

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“The PDP should therefore not run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. The PDP cannot be crying wolf now when it earlier celebrated the judgments which nullified the Card Readers as victory for democracy.

“The position of the Supreme Court which for now is the law makes the Voter Register the final proof of the accreditation of voters. Hence, making the record of the Card reader inadmissible in Court as proof of accreditation.

“The meaning of this is that even when only a few people turn out at 3 Polling Unit on election day, thugs can hijack the materials, record humongous figures and are only required to tick the Voter Register and they are home and dry. PDP celebrated this position of the Supreme Court and should just keep quiet for now.

“We urge the PDP to show that it is serious with legislative interventions in our electoral systems by enjoining its members to lead the moves in the National Assembly for relevant amendments.”

The Opposition Parties lamented that “the PDP had the opportunity to reform the electoral system, they failed and when they left office, they used the Supreme Court to torpedo the little gains of the introduction of the Smart Card Reader which Nigeria had made.”

The Opposition Parties, therefore, called on all Nigerians to lend their voice and put pressure on their representatives in both chambers of the National Assembly to urgently pass the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

This, according to the opposition, the nation “can have electronic transmission of votes, electronic transmission of accreditation figures from the Card Reader and possibly electronic voting so that thugs will not have a role in our electoral system since our security agencies have failed woefully to stop them from their unpatriotic trade.”

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