The Independent National Electoral Commission says it has ordered for a transfer of over 6,000 smart card readers from its Oyo State office to Ondo State for the smooth conduct of the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State.
INEC’s National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said this when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja on Thursday.
Okoye was responding to questions on alternative plans the commission was putting in place for the Ondo State election, given the destruction by fire of 5,141 smart cards readers in its Ondo State office.
He said it was sad that the commission lost the 5,141 smart cards readers in the inferno.
He, however, noted that Ondo State election was a stand-alone poll, adding that the commission would move smart card readers from other states to conduct the election.
He said: “As at today, we have given an order that all the smart card readers in Oyo State office should be moved to Ondo.
“And they have over 6,000 smart card readers in Oyo and so we are not going to have any problems reconfiguring them and using them for the elections.”
Okoye said the commission took the decision to move the smart card readers from other states to conduct the Ondo State election because of the long duration required to purchase a smart card.
According to him, the process of ordering one smart card reader takes at least six months, hence the decision to move smart card readers from other states.
He, however, said the commission was also looking at a more secured way of storing its smart card readers to avert any further destruction of the cards given the expensive nature of the cards.
Okoye said: “Because these smart card readers were bought with Nigeria’s tax payers money we have a responsibility to make sure that we don’t waste the resources of this country.
“But we have recovered quickly and we are proceeding with the Ondo State election.
“Nothing will stop the conduct of that election.”