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Card readers hobble voters in Ondo, shocks Mimiko, Jegede others

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Though former President of Nigerian Bar Association and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Rotimi Akeredolu of All Progressive Congress (APC) is currently in early lead, experiences in the use card reader technology in elections in Nigeria got soar Saturday as many electorates in Ondo State’s guber elections including key figures were frustrated in the process.

However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) devised the tactics of simultaneous accreditation and voting to beat time constrains.

There were reports that malfunctioning card readers marred the process in some areas.

Top on the list of those who had issues with the card readers was the state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.

Though INEC was, quick to say that it has enough card readers for the election, it was not clear if it ungraded them to their latest versions.

A systems expert who pleaded anonymity told Business Hilights on phone that for every chipped device, it deserves momentary updates and upgrades so as to be effective and limit the chances of malfunctioning especially when needed.

Segun Agbaje, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ondo State, said Saturday afternoon that the commission has more than 250 spare smart card readers to replace those malfunctioning, but was silent on whether they were all upgraded and set for use.

Agbaje said this on Saturday while speaking with newsmen at Unit 9, Ward 2, Gbogi/Isinkan in Akure South Local Government Area of the state on the sidelines of the accreditation and voting process for the governorship election.

His comments followed complaints of malfunctioning card readers in some polling units in the state.

Agbaje said: “I have called the Head of Department of ICT to get smart cards for areas with smart card challenges and very soon they will get them.

“Card reader is not a major challenge because it can be addressed within 10 to 20 minutes.

“We have over 250 smart card readers for exchange in case of malfunction.

“I believe more people are still coming and the election is going on smoothly across the state.”


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