Former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, says the card reader frustrated politicians and largely stopped them from inflating results and manipulating the 2015 general elections.
Jega’s position comes on the heels of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s disparaging comments about the 2015 polls.
Jonathan, in a book, ‘Against the Run Of Play’ by Olusegun Adeniyi, Thisday Editorial Board Chairman, said he was displeased by the way and manner Jega conducted the election which saw him losing to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Jega, who spoke though his Special Assistant, Prof. Mohammed Kuna, disagreed with Jonathan’s claims that the wide margin between the presidential election and National Assembly results in Kano State clearly reflected flawed elections.
According to Jonathan, it was strange that the state with a recorded 1.8 million votes in the presidential poll only had a paltry figure of 800,000 in the National Assembly polls held the same day.
However, in dismissing the allegations, Jega said, “There is nothing particularly special about the Kano result; it is a general trend as many voters were more interested in the presidential election than in other elections. That was what happened across the country and you can go and do the tabulation.”
He insisted that the introduction of the card reader made it difficult for political actors to manipulate elections and inflate results, saying: “With the card reader, it is no longer possible to return results that are higher than the accredited voters. If you analyse the results nationally, you will discover the same trend.”