It takes five days to reconfigure card readers – INEC chairman


The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said that it takes five days to reconfigure card readers.
He stated this while briefing stakeholders on the reasons the presidential election was shifted from today to February 23.
According to him, the management of the commission considered, among other options, holding the election on Sunday (tomorrow) or Monday, when it dawned on it that today was no more feasible.
Yakubu, however, said that an insight from the ICT department of the commission made INEC to jettison the idea.
According to him, the ICT experts said it would require five days to reconfigure the card readers.
Reassuring the electorate that INEC was committed to holding a credible election, he said the recent fire incidents in Abia, Anambra and Plateau had effect on the commissions scheduled of activities.
He, however, lamented that many Nigerians did not appreciate efforts and achievements of the commission under him.
Yakubu said, “It is often not appreciated the magnitude of activities that the Commission undertakes during general elections. Not only have we recruited and trained about one million young people to serve as ad hoc staff, but the magnitude of materials mobilised for our elections is also enormous.
“For instance, the commission has printed 421.7 million ballot papers for six scheduled elections, as well as 13.6 million leaves of result forms for the Presidential election alone.
“Indeed, managing 91 political parties and 23,316 candidates for whom votes will be cast in 119,973 polling units by over 84 million voters is certainly astounding. No doubt, preparations for the 2019 general elections have been extremely tasking for the commission.
“It is therefore not unexpected that such a tremendous national mobilisation of men and materials will encounter operational challenges and we have had our own fair share of such challenges. There had been delays in delivering ballot papers and result sheets for the elections which are not unusual.
“However, one must emphasise that all the ballot papers and result sheets were ready before the elections despite the very tight legal timeframe for finalising nomination of candidates and dealing with the spate of legal challenges that accompany it. In this regard, the commission has been sued or joined in over 640 court cases.”

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