Pro-Jonathan groups in Ondo protest against card readers

The G-18 Initiative, a pro-Goodluck Jonathan campaign movement has cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission against the Inec card readeruse of the smart card readers for the coming elections.

Also, the Ondo State Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders Group, urged the INEC not to use the card readers in the presidential election slated for March 28, but could use it for future governorship elections or bye elections as test for the machines.

Addressing journalists in Akure, the National Coordinator of the G-18,  Mr. Poroye Bill, said although the introduction of the card readers was well intentioned, indications from the test carried out showed that there could be serious problems during the election proper.

He noted that there could be severe flaws with the use of the gadget that could result in the compromise of the electoral process.

“The timing is wrong and voters are not well educated about it. The recent field test of the device showed that it will take about one hour to attend to six voters, this certainly  will disenfranchise so many voters,” he said.

On his part, the Coordinator of the PDP Stakeholder Group and former Ondo State Commissioner for Information, John Mafo, said the card readers had not been effectively tested in an election.

According to Mafo, who also doubles as a Patron of the G-18 Initiative, the card readers should have been tested in a governorship or legislative elections before deploying them in a presidential election.

He added that the use of incidence form completely negated the essence of the card readers.

The G-18 however noted that the electoral process had improved with successive elections, praising Goodluck Jonathan for appointing Prof. Attahiru Jega as Chairman of INEC.

The group also called for clean campaigns devoid of insults and denigration as currently being experienced in the build up to the elections.

“We appeal to the parties involved to think of the tortuous road that the nation went through to berth this democracy.

“The group desires  peaceful, clean and fair elections. We therefore call on INEC to work with the security agencies to ensure adequate security in the forthcoming elections,” he said.

He added that the group believed that the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan would continue to sustain the development the country had attained in agriculture, education, economic and youth development.

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