INEC, in the week, raised a rather promising hope of the people, when despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018, citing poor timing, it vowed to still go ahead with the use of the card reader, whilst at the same time foreclosing the use of the incident forms. Excellent choice!
On the card reader, INEC intends to bank on some extant laws and regulations. And this commitment, it also gave at a recent US congressional hearing on the 2019 election. You want to ask, of what use is the card reader without a proper legislation backing it up and making sure it properly guides the voting process especially if the Supreme Court ruling, which upheld the election of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on the grounds that the card reader was not part of the Electoral Act must be recalled?
This notwithstanding, the resolve by the INEC is a first major step towards curbing recurring electoral fraud. At least, with the use of the card read and non-usage of incident forms, those ‘strange votes’ especially, cases of underage voting would have been sufficiently eliminated. Although INEC is expected to come under intense pressure over her decision on incident forms, she must however stand her grounds and does that which is best for the nation.