The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday began the distribution of sensitive election materials, including result sheets and ballot papers, to various local government areas across Nigeria ahead of the elections opening on Saturday.
In Rivers State, the exercise took place in the premises of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Port Harcourt.
“The exercise will end today,” said Obo Effanga, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers State. “We are on course.”
Mr Effanga assured of the commission’s readiness for the elections in Rivers State.
PREMIUM TIMES witnessed how ad-hoc staff were loading materials packed in boxes into trucks for each of the LGAs.
The exercise took place in the presence of party agents and security operatives.
“These are sensitive materials,” said Mr Effanga who further disclosed that each truckload of the materials would be escorted by armed security operatives and followed by INEC officials and agents of the political parties.
Another INEC staff, who asked not to be named, said the commission had received all the materials needed for the elections in Rivers State.
“The only thing remaining is the deployment to the local government areas which is what we are doing now,” said the staff.
“We arranged the materials according to LGAs yesterday.”
In Gombe, northeastern Nigerian, the spokesperson for INEC, Mohorret Bigun, also disclosed to PREMIUM TIMES that the commission commenced the distribution of sensitive materials to the LGAs today.
“The timely and transparent distribution of sensitive materials to the various local government areas showed that the Commission is willing and prepared to conduct free, fair and credible elections in Gombe state,” said Mr Bigun.
The elections were earlier scheduled to open last Saturday. The exercise was however postponed to the coming this Saturday over logistics difficulties.
The commission now assures it is ready for the polls.