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Mr Tunde Balogun, who said that his accreditation took about five minutes, expressed satisfaction at the introduction of the card readers.

Mixed reactions on Saturday trailed INEC’s field test for smart card readers in Lagos ahead of the March 28 and April 11 general elections.

NAN reports that the commission selected 30 polling units in Onigbongbo Ward in Ikeja Local Government Area for the field test.

At the field test, some of prospective voters hailed the introduction, while others said the card readers recorded delays and systemic failure.

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Mrs Victoria Akangbe, a-53-year old trader at Polling Unit 028, told NAN:“I see it as a very good development, and pray God to help the INEC to progress from here.

“It is fast; It did not take me time. Initially, there was a challenge with my finger print, but INEC workers linked it to sweat; immediately I rubbed my fingers, it worked.”

At Polling Unit 009, Alhaji Fatia Balogun said, “It is a very nice exercise, and I think it is fraud-free.

“I like it, there is no waste of time; in less than a minute, I got accredited.”

Also, Mr Tunde Balogun, who said that his accreditation took about five minutes, expressed satisfaction at the introduction of the card readers.

“INEC should go ahead to use the card readers for accreditation to be able to detect fake cards,” he said.

However, Mr Olamide Pedro of Polling Unit 028 in the ward, expressed doubts at the efficiency of the machine on the election dates.

“I am not sure that the card readers are going to work, because four or five people, including myself, had our accreditation failed.

“Though our cards were said to be authentic, the thump prints did not work, the card reader was showing that verification failed,’’ he told NAN.

Also, Mr Adedolapo Abdulkareen of Polling Unit 028 in the ward, said: “ I don’t support the idea of the card readers because it is delaying everybody.

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“Up till now that I am talking to you, I have tried about three times and it kept saying: `verification failed’.’’
He told NAN that INEC workers eventually requested that he should fill a form called `incident form’.

Mr Uduma Emmanuel of Polling Unit 009 said that the machine was good, but could slow election.

“It went well; I took me about five minutes to be accredited; if we are going to use the card readers, it means an election is not likely to be concluded in a day,’’ he said.

Mr Lekan Fijabi, also a prospective voter, urged that the card readers should be improved on for a better outcome.

“I expect that there should be alarm installed in them so that their messages on PVCs’ authentication will be heard be all.

“The commission should stick to messages given by card readers.

“Filling of incident forms for those not accepted and making them to vote, can defeat the essence because of fake cards,’’ Fijabi said.

Mr Olufemi Aduwo, the National Coordinator of Right Monitoring Group, one of the accredited monitoring groups, for the elections, said: “So far, with what we have seen here, it is a wonderful development.

“The essence of the exercise is to confirm how many seconds or minutes it takes to do the machine accreditation.

“In some areas, it takes 20 seconds while in some other it took five seconds.
“If we can accredit up to four voters in a minute, it is a plus; it is a wonderful development; it will add value. We should avoid human error.

“For me, an average Nigerian should support INEC in this, but at same time, we have to make sure that people are not disenfranchised in the process.’’

He suggested creation of a queue on the day of elections for voters who might have challenges with their finger prints so as not to delay the others.

The observer said that the group would make its findings known to the INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, on Wednesday.

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An observer from the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement, Miss Ifeoma Anigbogu, said that the field test recorded delay.

She noted that it took some voters up to three minutes to complete accreditation.

According to Mr Segun Agbaje, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ondo State, the essence of the card reader is to authenticate the cards and confirm that they belong to the bearers to prevent electoral fraud.

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