There will be no challenges with card readers in 2019 – INEC

INEC Chairman, Yakub Mahmood

Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Wednesday assured that there would be no challenges with Card Reader machines in the 2019 general elections.

Yakubu told Senate Committee on INEC in Abuja that the problem with card readers was not technical but with the training of the ad hoc staff.

He said that the challenges with the device were being magnified by politicians, but assured that steps had been taken to check the problems with handling of the machine.

“We have taken steps to improve the process of the smart card readers and we will continue to do so. We will also use improved smart card readers in Anambra election,” he said.

On the method the commission intended to use for the 2019 general elections in the rural areas, the chairman said that specific machines would be deployed to specific communities.

“We will deploy specific machine to the specific community and we will also provide additional machines and speak to the community leaders. We will treat all states equally.”

He disclosed that the commission had suspended voter registration in Anambra until after the Nov. 18 governorship election in the state.

On INEC’s involvement in party primaries, Yakubu said that there was nothing the commission could do about the party imposing a candidate on its members.

“We have problem with party primaries but INEC has no power to disqualify a candidate of a party.

“There is nothing the commission can do about it but we promise the country that INEC can never go to court to defend any candidate after election,” he said.

In his remarks, Chairman of the committee, Sen. Suleiman Nazif, urged INEC to update the committee with every detail of the ongoing voter registration.

He advised the commission to ensure adequate briefing on the 2017 budget performance to enable the senate to know the challenges with a view to taking legislative actions to help the commission. (NAN)