The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will complete the deployment of sensitive election material to the nation’s 774 local government areas for the Saturday elections by Thursday.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, while addressing reporters on Wednesday in Abuja said the commission was making good progress on logistics for the rescheduled elections.
“I briefed you yesterday that having moved the sensitive materials to the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, the forward deployment to the 774 LGAs nationwide will commence today Wednesday, Feb. 20 and be concluded tomorrow Thursday, Feb. 21.
“Already, ten states; Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, and Taraba States have commenced the movement of materials to LGAs today.
“Other states will do so and conclude tomorrow. We will give a full rendition of movement to LGAs across all states of the Federation tomorrow.
“We have been making good progress on logistics. Similarly, all other arrangements for the movement of personnel from the LGAs to the Wards are on course. We will fully brief you tomorrow at 3 pm.’’
Mr Yakubu also disclosed that the commission had achieved 100 per cent completion of the configuration of the Smart Card Readers for the elections.
“The Card Readers were introduced in the 2015 general elections to facilitate the accreditation of voters using the PVCs. They are configured to specific polling units, and only open for use at 8 am on Election Day.
“They automatically shut down by 10 pm to forestall any illegal use before the appointed time of elections. I am pleased to report that we have now achieved 100 per cent completion of the configuration. We are good to go on this score.’’
He added that INEC state offices had fully complied with the directive to invite stakeholders to the Central Bank of Nigeria to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week and to witness their distributions to LGAs.
Mr Yakubu said that the commission had made specific arrangement on deployment and security of election materials and personnel in the riverine areas to ensure that elections also start on time there.
“We have made an elaborate arrangement with boat owners as well as the security forces that would accompany our materials and personnel.’’
Mr Yakubu, who said that the commission was not under any pressure, said the fact that some of the political parties were making counter-accusations over INEC process was normal.
He said it shows ”there was something INEC was doing right”.