The Forum of Chairmen of Nigeria Political Parties on Sunday disagreed with the Peoples Democratic Party over its recent position on the efficacy of the Smart Card Readers for elections.
Chief Perry Opara, the Chairman of the National Unity Party, made the forum’s position known in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
The Forum blamed members of the PDP for what it called the naturalisation of the card readers in relation to voter register.
The statement read, “It is clear to even less political minds that the Smart Card Reader’s efficacy has been politically and judicially neutralised and it must be mentioned that this was largely done by members of the PDP who argued before the Supreme Court against its relevance in relation to the voter register.
“The Supreme Court only agreed with the arguments of the PDP and therefore neutralised the Smart Card Reader. The PDP should therefore not run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. The PDP cannot be crying wolf now when it earlier celebrated the judgments which nullified the Card Readers as a victory for democracy.
“The position of the Supreme Court, which for now is the law, makes the voter register the final proof of the accreditation of voters, hence, making the record of the card reader inadmissible in court as proof of accreditation.
Furthermore, “The meaning of this is that even when only a few people turn out at three polling units on election day, thugs can hijack the materials, record humongous figures and are only required to tick the voter register and they are home and dry. PDP celebrated this position of the Supreme Court and should just keep quiet for now.
“We urge the PDP to show that it is serious with legislative interventions in our electoral systems by enjoining her members to lead the moves in the National Assembly for relevant amendments. PDP had the opportunity to reform the electoral system, they failed and when they left office, they used the Supreme Court to torpedo the little gains of the introduction of the Smart Card Reader which Nigeria had made.
“We call on all Nigerians to lend their voice and put pressure on their representatives in both chambers of the National Assembly to urgently pass the Electoral Act Amendment Bill so that we can have electronic transmission of votes, electronic transmission of accreditation figures from the Card Reader and possibly electronic voting so that thugs will not have a role in our electoral system since our security agencies have failed woefully to stop them from their unpatriotic trade.”