Parties warn INEC against BVAS problems repeat

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  • INEC warned by political parties against INEC repetition problem

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday began the distribution of sensitive materials for Saturday’s governorship and house of assembly elections.

Also on Wednesday, political parties warned the electoral body against a repeat of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System glitches and other hitches that characterised the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls.

The complaints about the conduct of the elections resulted in the rejection of the outcome of the polls by the parties which challenged the result in the court.

Findings  indicate that the INEC has commenced deployment of sensitive materials in Lagos, Sokoto, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Bauchi, Kebbi, Osun and several other states three days ahead of the exercise.

The commission took delivery of the ballot papers and results sheets from the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday.

The exercise, led by the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje and the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Idowu Owohunwa, was monitored by various stakeholders.

Electoral officers from the 20 local government areas were on the ground to circulate the materials to their respective local government area offices in the state.

Agbaje, in an interview with journalists, noted that INEC was ready to conduct free, fair and credible elections on Saturday, and called for the cooperation and support of stakeholders.

He noted that the onward distribution of the materials from the councils to the 245 wards of the state would begin on Thursday.

He said INEC wanted to ensure that materials got to Registration Area Centres and polling units on time on  Friday and Saturday, respectively.

In Sokoto State,  INEC  Wednesday began the sharing of ballot papers and other materials with the 23 LGAs in the state.

Speaking at the event held at the premises of the CBN, the National Commissioner in charge of the state, Maj Gen Modibo Alkali (retd.), assured that the commission would improve on the previous exercise in the state.

Modibo who was drafted to the state following the suspension of the former REC, Dr Nura Ali, disclosed that the necessary arrangements had been put in place to ensure the exercise commences by 8 am in all the local governments.

The dissemination of the sensitive materials to all the local government areas of Benue State also started on Wednesday.

The Public Relations Officer of INEC in the state, Terkaa Andyar, said that the materials were received from the state CBN office and subsequently circulated to all 23 councils.

The administration of the election materials in Osun State was supervised by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Mutiu Agboke, at the CBN office in Osogbo.

Speaking before the exercise, Agboke assured that the commission would scale up its level of arrangement, procedures and security due to the high stakes attached to the poll, even though the governorship election would not be held in the state.

He explained that armed security operatives would be on duty at the collation centres across the state, adding that security operatives would also deploy more men to violent-prone areas.

Speaking further on the security arrangement for the election day, Agboke said, “where elections have been cancelled as a result of over-voting, we will not give any opportunity to anybody.

In Ondo State, the commission expressed readiness for the election, adding that it would deploy the BVAS for the exercise.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Oyekola Oyelami, stated this on Wednesday while supervising the distribution of the sensitive and non-sensitive materials ahead of the election, in Akure, the state capital.

Oyelami said, “By tomorrow (today), these materials would be batched from there while on Friday, the materials would arrive at the RAC (Registration Area Centres) before the polling where they would pass the night and as early as 6 am on Saturday, they would be moved to the various polling units for the election.’’

Political parties

The INEC commissioner explained that out of the 18 political parties that registered in the country, only 17 fielded candidates to participate in the house of assembly election in the state, noting that the leadership of the participating political parties had held a series of meetings with INEC in ensuring peaceful conduct of the          election.

In his remarks, the state Chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Council, Mr Adesanya Olaoluwa, who also witnessed the distribution of the materials, said the political parties were ready for the election.

The commission commenced the deployment of election materials in the 18 local government areas of Edo State on Wednesday.

The exercise was supervised by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Efanga at the CBN office in Benin.

Efanga said the materials were being sorted and would be moved to the various LGAs immediately after.


Punch newspaper
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