The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has again reiterated it’s determination on the use of the Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) card readers, saying it will reduce suspicion among politicians and electorate, adding that it will also reduce to the minimal level all associated fraudulent practices in election.
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Kaduna State, Alhaji Hussaini Ahmed Mahuta stated this yesterday at a peace accord signing by political parties in Kaduna state, stressing that the use of card readers meant well for the country.
Mahuta assured politician of the commissions commitment to ensure free, fair and credible elections, he however called on them not to take laws into their hands particularly with election results but should take legal actions in any election disputes.
Represented by an Electoral Officer, Kaduna North Local government, Dalhatu Mohammed, the REC pleaded with the political parties to play according to the rules of the game and not to resort to the use of thugs.
According to him, “Our message to the political parties are as follows. The political parties should play the rules according to the rules of the game. They must show tolerance to each other and they must not use thugs in any of their activities.
“Where they are not satisfied with any election results they should seek a redress either through the dialogue system or taking their case to the law court.
“For us in INEC, we have been working assiduously to ensure free, fair and credible election. Infact, I assure all the participants in political party arena that the card reader meant well for Nigeria.”
It will reduce almost all the suspicion surrounding the credibility of our election. So we urge you to respect the nitty gritty of the peace accord,” Mahuta said.
Supervising the peace accord signing, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Shehu Umar said the peace accord signed so far in the last two to three weeks in the state had recorded positive impact on the state as cases of bill boards and posters destruction and clashes between party supporters has reduced drastically.
“We have recorded very few cases in the last two weeks. We have recorded reduction in destruction of bill boards and posters. There is sanity in the last two to three weeks. We have not recorded any clash between the parties supporters.
“It is not just about signing the peace pact but abiding by the accord. We expect to see more sanity in the state,” he said.
On issues of security during election day, CP Umar said it will deploy 3 security agents made up of the police men, custom, immigration and Prisons each to a polling unit (unarmed) in addition to the patrol team adding that “The security on that day is the collective responsibility of all to ensure free, fair and credible elections.”
Speaking on behalf of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) Comrade Shehu Sani who is also vying for the Kaduna Central Senatorial District seat, however said they cannot guarantee peace if the March 28 and April 11 election dates are shifted again.
He described the peace accord as a novel ideal which will go a long way to help ensure violence free election while suggesting that the same be accorded to other relevant stakeholders such as the Police, INEC, Journalist to stick to laws and ethic guiding their professions.