Attahiru Jega ‘No going back on card readers,’ INEC Chairman says

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other groups have called for the card readers to be shelved saying that a malfunction of the machine could lead to mass disenfranchisement.

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INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega play

INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega

(Premium Times)
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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, has said that the commission would proceed with plans to use card readers in the conduct of the upcoming general elections despite widespread resistance.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other groups have called for the card readers to be shelved saying that a malfunction of the machine could lead to mass disenfranchisement.

Jega also stated that he has no plans of resigning from his position because he still has a job to do.

The INEC Chairman made the comments on Monday, March 16, during a town hall meeting in Abuja.

“If we don’t use card readers, we will lose respect and credibility. We will be going back to old ways when alteration of results were possible,” Jega said.

Jega also said that despite the newness of the card reader technology, INEC had conducted a quality assurance test which certified that the card readers would work.

He also described opposition to the use of the card readers as  “diversionary” and an to “move us backward.”

On rumours of his resignation and being forced to proceed on terminal leave, Jega said:

“I am not under any pressure to resign. The issue of terminal leave is voluntary. Why will I resign when I have a constitutional duty? Until, April 11, I have a duty. I think it is a disservice for anybody to resign at a stage there is serious assignment like the one I am doing.”

“No sensible person, in my view, will contemplate leaving when there is a duty. I read about the pressure on me to resign or that anybody want to sack me on newspapers like everybody. Nobody has told me to proceed on terminal leave,” he added.

Numerous reports have it that Jega has fallen out with the Presidency and as such would be forced to resign or proceed on terminal leave to make way for a replacement.

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