Ahead of the forthcoming presidential and national assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC), has disclosed that it will conduct mock accreditation of eligible voters, using Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines.
The mock exercise according to Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Commission Chairman will hold on Saturday, February 4, 2023, in 436 polling units across the country.
Addressing the 36 Resident Electoral Electoral Commissioners in Abuja on Friday, the INEC Chairman who appealed to eligible voters with Permanent Voters Cards to come out and partake in the mock accreditation further disclosed that at the end of the exercise, the 436 BVAS machines involved will be reconfigured before they are deployed for the General Election.
He said: “As you are already aware, the Commission has taken delivery of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines for the election. We have also dutifully tested each machine in our offices nationwide to ensure its functionality. The next step is to conduct field tests across the country involving actual voters. For this reason, and in readiness for nationwide deployment, the Commission is conducting a mock accreditation of voters similar to what was done ahead of the recent Ekiti and Osun State Governorship elections.
“The mock accreditation will hold on Saturday 4th February 2023 in 436 polling units nationwide. Twelve polling units have been designated in each State of the Federation and four in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the equality of the country’s 109 Senatorial Districts for the exercise. A comprehensive list of the polling units, including their names and PU Code numbers, as well as their distribution by State, Senatorial District, Local Government and Registration Area (Ward) will be uploaded to the Commission’s website shortly.
“The Commission appeals to registered voters in the affected polling units to appear on the scheduled date with their PVCs for the mock exercise. Doing so will help to reassure the public of the robustness of our system and to strengthen our processes ahead of the General Election. Civil society organisations, the media and the general public are welcome to observe the process. At the end of the exercise, the 436 BVAS machines involved will be reconfigured before they are deployed for the General Election.
“We have a loaded agenda for this meeting. I therefore once again welcome you all to this meeting as we go into our working session. ”
Giving updates on logistics for the forthcoming elections, Professor Yakubu said his Commission has made adequate provisions for both sensitive and non-sensitive materials and further urged eligible voters who participated in the Continous Voters Registration to pick their PVCs before the expiration of the deadline date.
“I am glad to report that movement of materials for the election to various locations nationwide is being concluded. Training of officials will commence shortly. Ongoing consultations with stakeholders will be intensified. Airlifting and delivery of sensitive materials to States of the Federation has gone far. Accreditation of national and international observers and the media is being finalised. Critical service providers in the area of transportation have reassured us of their commitment to efficient logistics for the movement of materials and personnel to various locations while the security agencies have reaffirmed their readiness for the election.”
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