Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said the major challenges that characterised the 2019 general election would have been averted if President Muhammadu Buhari had assented to the amended Electoral Act.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the political team from the British High Commission at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Wike said the amended Electoral Act would legitimise the card reader and strengthen the process of result collation.
He said: “If the President had assented to the amended Electoral Act, we wouldn’t have had the kind of problem we had.
“That means that there must be card reader in the electoral process. In that case, it makes it difficult for security agencies, who want to commit electoral fraud, to succeed.
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“With the card reader, results that don’t tally with accredited figures in the device will not be accepted. Since the card reader is not in the law, it creates the loopholes for them to manipulate.
“They created the room where some security agencies tried to force Returning Officers to sign result sheets. Remember in Rivers State, the Army took over the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC headquarters. The essence was to see that the Returning Officers were hijacked for fraudulent purposes.
“But if the card reader was legitimised in the electoral process, it would not have been possible, because the only acceptable result would be the one that tallies with the card reader. I have always said to Mr President that in the interest of the country, let us do the right thing. Let us not politicise everything.”