THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC ) on Monday, restated its commitment to conducting a free and fair election, saying there is no going back on the use of permanent voter cards(PVCs) and the Card Readers in the forthcoming general election.
This assurance was given by the commissions National Commissioner representing Ondo, Osun and Lagos states Professor Akinola Salawu in Akure, during evaluation visit to Ondo State.
It will be recalled that some political parties led by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) had called on the electoral umpire to substitute the use of PVCs for Temporary Voters Cards because of noticeable lapses and inadequate preparation by INEC.
However, Salawu said the commission would go ahead with the use of the card readers during the coming elections so as to give it value.
“The use of the card readers will add value to our electoral process and assist us to have free fair and credible election in this country.
“ We have tested the card readers and we have seen that it works perfectly.
“I am pleased to let Nigerians know that we are ready for the election. Our preparation is not 100 per cent but it’s enough for a free, fair and credible elections,” he said.
Salawu, however, denied that the Commission was hoodwinked by any political party to postpone the election, noting that the Commission is an impartial umpire with officials that are above board.
He noted that the reason for the postponement was adduced by the national chairman of the commision, Profession Attahiru Jega, saying “Security reason was the main reason for the postponement of the election. Anybody saying anything contrary is wrong about the matter.
“We were ready before the election was postponed. But when the issue of security came in the commission had no choice than to shift the election to ensure free and fair elections.”