ABEOKUTA – Barely 32 days to the commencement of 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has allayed the fear being nursed in some quarters over usage of card readers in the forthcoming general elections.
INEC’s National Electoral Commissioner in charge of Lagos/Ogun/Oyo, Dr. Adekunle Ladipo Ogunmola who spoke in Abeokuta on Monday at an interactive session with traditional rulers in Ogun State organized by the state chapter of INEC dismissed the claim that, the card reader has been enhanced to re-capture voters’ fingerprints.
Dr. Ogunmola further noted that, the card reader cannot automatically overwrite the biometric record on the database of the commission.
He added that where the biometric authentication fails, the voter shall be allowed to vote manually.
The INEC boss therefore declared that, separate incident form used in previous elections which was only completed by the Presiding Officer without the involvement of the voter had been abolished.
“If the fingerprint is not authenticated by the card reader but the PVC is confirmed as genuine and the voter’s personal details are consistent with the manual register, he/she shall be allowed to vote.
“Similarly, the claim that the card reader has been enhanced to recapture voters’ fingerprints at polling units and automatically overwrite the biometric record on our database is untrue and should be disregarded.
“However, where the biometric authentication fails, the voter will be required to thumbprint a box next to his/her picture on the register and to enter his/her mobile phone number before proceeding to vote.”
Meanwhile, the INEC’s Administrative Secretary in the state, James Oludele Popoola has recruited the services of traditional rulers in the state towards ensuring that electorate go out and claim their Permanent Voters’Card (PVCs).
Popoola spoke during the interactive session organised by INEC for the purpose of the forthcoming general elections.
Popoola explained that out of the 1, 123, 537 PVCs received since year 2015 till 11th January, this year, only 223. 372 PVCs were collected, while a total of 900, 165 are still lying idly uncollected at the ogun INEC’s office.
According to Popoola, the total of over 1 million PVCs received from the inec’s National Headquarters in Abuja included those who transferred their cards from various part of the country to the state.
He however, appealed to traditional rulers in Ogun to prevail on their subjects to abstain from electoral vices, maintain peace “before, during and after elections”.
Earlier in his keynote address while declaring the interactive session opened, the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Obama Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo noted the purpose of involving traditional rulers in the electoral process is because of the trust which their subjects have in them.
Alake however, admonished other traditional rulers in the state to accept all contestants, not to be biased and ensure that peace reigns during the period.