Atiku Abubakar alleges plot by presidency to manipulate card readers

Candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar (L) speaks with PDP Chairman of Board of Trustees Walid Jibrin as they attend an emergency National Executive Committee party meeting in Abuja on February 19, 2019, ahead of rescheduled general elections. Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP

•INEC configures 95 per cent of facilities
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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has alerted Nigerians of an alleged plot by the presidency to specially trained operatives to manipulate the card readers during the elections.

He told the party’s 84th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting yesterday in Abuja that the purported plan was to derail the workings of the facilities in some areas considered as PDP strongholds and also speed them up in places where the All Progressives Congress (APC) holds sway.

His words: “We have just discovered that the APC has hired many operatives. It has taken them to China to be trained. And they have been so trained, and they are back, and they are equipped with devices that are meant to slow or fasten our card readers.

“So, if you are in the South South, South-East and North Central, you are likely to get your card readers to be slowed by those APC operatives.

“We have seen the machines. We have interviewed some of those who have gone on this training, and we have passed that information to the campaign council to pass to you.”

The former vice president continued: “But if you are from the North West or North East, the tendency is that they will use these machines to fast-track the readings of your card readers so that many of their supporters can vote while disenfranchising the other three zones.”

It was also alleged at the meeting that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and the APC leadership had plans to frustrate Saturday’s polls.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who made the allegation, said the ruling party was looking for another postponement.

“They don’t want election to hold. We know they don’t want election to hold on Saturday. By God’s grace, the man that will take us to the promise land, Atiku Abubakar, will win,” he stated.

According to Saraki, “the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should know that they don’t want to hold that election on Saturday. So, INEC must deliver for the sake of millions of Nigerians. You must make sure elections happen on Saturday. By God’s grace, the elections will hold and we will win because we represent the interest of Nigerians. Like they say, when your time has come, it has come and no one can change it. Atiku Abubakar, your time has come.”

The erstwhile Kwara State governor said Buhari lost the people’s support because they had gone through three and half years of “poverty, unemployment and insecurity.”

Besides, the electoral body yesterday said it had configured 95 per cent of the 180,000 smart card readers to be used for the presidential and National Assembly polls.

The Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who dropped the hint at a press conference in Abuja, accepted responsibility for last weekend’s fiasco.

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