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Professor Atahiru Jega

2015: Why we’re introducing card readers – Jega

The chip-based Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) currently being issued by voters will be replaced with card readers in the 2015 general elections to ensure 100 per cent verification and authentication of voters.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega made the clarification while delivering a public lecture on ‘Values, Electoral Systems and the Importance of Successful Elections in Nigeria’s Foreign Policy’, at the weekend in Lagos. The Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) organized the event.

Jega warned eligible voters to register and vote where they reside, explaining that it will be a futile effort for any voter to travel from his or her place of residence, hoping to vote in another city or village.

He said in order to address the critical challenges faced in the 2011 general elections, the commission had made recommendations for improvement to the legal framework, saying the constitution and the Electoral Act had been submitted to the National Assembly.

The INEC boss cited the challenge posed by the period for run-off, which, he described as too short for adequate preparation.

According to him, the commission was seeking a period of three to eight weeks for run-off. Jega was confident that the commission would be able to conduct elections in the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Acknowledging the challenge of insecurity, and concern about Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, which had remained the theatres of Boko Haram insurgency, he said: “Deployment of electoral officers and materials will depend on advice by security agencies,” even as he insisted that INEC would be able to conduct elections across the country in 2015.

Apparently, the level of preparations, which the commission had made so far, informed Jega’s confidence. Giving a summary of the preparation, Jega said: “2015 elections have three focal points, namely structure, policy and plan.”

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