By Emmanuel Oloniruha
ABUJA – The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to compromise the credibility of Ondo Governorship election with the contemplation of using the Z-pad technology in voter accreditation process.
The Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee, PDP National Campaign Council for Ondo Governorship election, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, gave the advice in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan said the campaign recalls that the Z-pad technology had failed during a test-run deployment for voter accreditation in Nasarawa by-election.
The situation, according to him, informed its rejection by INEC for voter accreditation in the Sept. 19, Edo state governorship election, where it was only used to assist in direct uploading of results to INEC’s virtual portal.
“We therefore urge INEC to limit the Z-pad technology to the purpose for which it has helped the commission to attain integrity as witnessed in the Edo governorship election.”
Ologbondiyan also urged INEC to discountenance the blackmail against the replacement of the over 5,000 card readers that were burnt by alleged agents of a party to frustrate the conduct of a credible governorship election in Ondo state.
“The PDP campaign, standing with the people of Ondo state, demands that the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, personally oversights the processes of recruitment of state polling officers.
“Our demand is predicated on information available to us that INEC officials detailed to handle the process are about being compromised to engage a party’s members as INEC ad hoc staff with a view to using them to rig the election.
“For us in the PDP campaign, the irreducible minimum standard of the integrity for the Ondo election is to adapt the achievement attained by the commission in the Sept. 19, Edo state governorship election.
“We want to inform INEC and all stakeholders that we will follow every process in the Ondo election to ensure that the Ondo people are not robbed of their legitimate votes at any level of the electoral process.”
He called on INEC and security agencies to invite and caution those planning acts of violence and cited the incidence in Oba-Akoko, where PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, was almost assassinated, but for the intervention of the people.
Ologbondiyan appreciated the overwhelming support accorded to Jegede, across the length and breadth of Ondo state.
INEC Chairman at the meeting with traditional rulers in Akure had said that the commission had dropped the use of Z-pad for accreditation in the election.
Yakubu said that the z-pad had two functions of uploading the results of polling units and to support the smart card readers for accreditation of voters.
Yakubu said that the commission had, however, yet to perfect the component for accreditation, “so we thought it was risky to introduce a new technology in a major governorship election.
“So, we have dropped the use for verification as we will improve on it,” Yakubu said.(NAN)