The Peoples Democratic Party says the poor functionality of the Permanent Voter Card readers in Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections across the country could have been avoided if the Independent National Electoral Commission had listened to sound advice from well-meaning individuals and organizations including the PDP regarding their deployment without proper testing.
The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh in a statement on Saturday said the last minute resort to manual accreditation by INEC hours into the exercise against its earlier guidelines clearly shows the failure of the system.
“The unfortunate development is a vindication of our earlier position that as good as the idea of card readers is, it was too virgin to be successfully used in a general election without proper testing especially in an environment as ours that is not entirely digitally proficient”, it said.
The party described as a huge national embarrassment the that the card reader had problems in accrediting President Goodluck Jonathan, Governors Jonah Jang, of Plateau, James Ngilari of Adamawa, Isa Yuguda of Buachi among others and called for thorough explanation from INEC.
The PDP equally frowned at reported cases of accreditation of under-aged persons in some states especially in the northern part of the country and called on INEC not only to ensure that such unqualified persons are not allowed to vote but also to prosecute its officials involved in the crime.
The ruling party said it is seriously concerned about the developments given the avowed commitment of the President Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration to hitch-free, fair and credible electoral process.
It charged the electoral commission to take urgent steps within the law to ensure that no willing and qualified voter is disenfranchised, while urging Nigerians to remain calm in the overall interest of the nation.
National Broadcast: PDP Slams Buhari Over ‘Disappointing, Empty’ Speech – PDP
Recall that Buhari in his speech called for an end to the protest, adding that his government had already accepted and started implementing demands of the protesters.
He, however, failed to acknowledge the shooting of protesters by soldiers of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday night.
Reacting in a statement on Thursday night by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbodinyan, the PDP said Buhari’s address was depressing and failed empathy test.
The party appealed to Nigerians, particularly the youth, to remain calm and allow a return to normal life in the collective quest for peaceful co-existence in the overall interest of the nation.
PDP Asks Buhari To Stop Killing Of #EndSARS Protesters Across Nigeria
This was contained in a statement titled “EndSARS- Lekki Massacre,” signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, late on Tuesday.
Ologbodiyan said, “The Peoples Democratic Party, condemns in very strong terms, the killing of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos as well as other parts of our country.
“It is shocking that security agents and, in some cases, thugs, were reportedly deployed to end the lives of promising Nigerians. This, to say the least, is saddening.
“Those responsible for the heinous murder of the innocent and harmless Nigerians must account for their nefarious acts.
“The PDP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct an end to these wanton killings across our nation.
#EndSARS: Gov Bello Warns Protesters Against Overthrowing Buhari
He stated this during an interview with Africa Independent Television AIT on Monday night.
Bello called on his fellow state governors to tack charge in their respective states so as to prevent loss of lives and properties due to attacks by hoodlums.
He, however, warned Nigerian youths to resist the temptation of using the current situation in the country to seek an undemocratic change in leadership.
The Governor warned that those interested in the presidency must wait till 2023 and go through democratic processes.
He urged the protesting youths to leave the streets and embrace dialogue.
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