INEC to adopt electronic transmission of results in Anambra ― Chairman

•Says non-sensitive materials to be moved soon

Amidst the controversy trailing the electronic transmission of results in the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has again restated its preference for the option.

Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja at an interactive session ahead of the Anambra Governorship election, Professor Yakubu dropped the hint that the results of the election slated for November 6 would be offloaded from the 5,720 Polling Units in the 21 Local Government Areas in the Southeast state.

Represented by National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voters Education, Mr Festus Okoye, the INEC Chairman also disclosed that modern technology, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) would be deployed for the accreditation of voters to guard against identity theft.

He said: “The Commission will also deploy relevant and appropriate technology for the conduct of the Anambra State Governorship election. To this end, the Commission will deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the accreditation of voters. The bimodal accreditation system will use fingerprints or facials for efficient voter accreditation. Therefore, those engaged in identity theft must steer clear of the polling units in Anambra State as only voters that are properly authenticated using their fingerprints or facials will be allowed to vote.

“The Commission will also use its new technological device to upload polling unit level results to its central result viewing portal. Nigerians that have access to internet facilities can log in and view the results as they are being uploaded. For this, we have commenced elaborate voter education and publicity activities in the State.”

Speaking on its facilities vandalised by arsonists last May, Professor Yakubu said the facilities were being replaced and expressed the hope that all non-sensitive materials presently at its zonal office would soon be moved to Anambra State.

“As you are aware, on the 23rd May 2021 the Commissions facilities in its Anambra State office were attacked and destroyed. The Collation Centre was burnt, stores housing over 326 generating sets and the generating sets were burnt. 6 utility vehicles were set ablaze and the main building was substantially damaged and burnt and over 50% of non-sensitive materials meant for the election were also set ablaze.

“The Commission has made substantial progress in restoring these facilities and other burnt national electoral assets. The stores have been reconstructed and ready to receive materials. The Collation Center will be ready in a few days’ time and the restoration of the main building will also be completed in a few days’ time. The implication is that in the next few days, the Commission will begin the movement of non-sensitive materials from its zonal stores in different parts of the federation to Anambra State office, preparatory to batching and delivery to our Local Government Offices.”

Professor Yakubu further assured of his Commission commitment to a peaceful atmosphere for the conduct of a peaceful election in the southeast state as he noted that INEC “will continue to work with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security at the National, State and Local Governments towards securing the electoral environment.”

Chief Superintendent of Police, Muyiwa Adejobi, who represented the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba said the Police have been making adequate preparations to guarantee security agencies ahead of the election.

“The police is the lead agency when it comes to internal security and safeguarding electoral process. We are determined to assist INEC to make the process a success.

“The Anambra Command is in touch with the IGP and we are determined to meet their needs, we shall partner with other security agencies. It is our job to protect INEC facilities by fortifying security around them. We are prepared for that. The DIG Operations is on top of it and we are fully prepared.”

Jake Epelle, the National Coordinator, Albino Foundation commended the INEC for always giving consideration to People With Disabilities as it pilots the electoral process in the country.

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