…says voters can assess polling units via INEC’S websites
Nine days to the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, assured Nigerians of adequate arrangements put in place for logistics and commencement of polls.
The assurance was given by the Director, Voter Education, Victor Aluko, gave the assurance at a Media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) roundtable on 2023 elections with the theme, ‘Avoiding Landmines, Overcoming Obstacles and Conducting Credible Elections’ organised by the International Press Centre, IPC, in Abuja.
Aluko said: “I assure you that with the system we have put in place, the logistics arrangement and with the fact that we are employing credible persons as electoral officials, I don’t see anyone getting to the polling units late.“What we do is we usually activate our racks and we move officials there a night before election so that very early in the morning, they move to polling units within the registration areas. So, we don’t anticipate a situation where they will arrive late. It won’t happen, I assure you.”
However, he maintained that with recent visit to the Group Chief Executive Officer, GCEO, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, NNPCL, Engr Mele Kyari, and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, the Commission is sure these two critical organization would not disappoint.
Meanwhile, he (Aluko) urged eligible Nigerians who are yet to know their polling units to visit the Commission’s online portal, and said the essence of the portal is to enhance less stress on Election Day.
According to him, “The commission has launched ‘operation know your polling units’ via its websites for voters to know where they will vote.
“We have also mobilsed all our Local Government Areas, LGAs, officials to mobilise people of influence like community and political leaders to sensitise voters.
“Also, a directive has gone out to all electoral officials that before the first election which is on February 25, the voter register will be pasted for eligible voters to confirm their names on the register.
“For polling units that maybe a little far from where people are voting before, we have men on ground from community and political leaders to sensitise and assist eligible voters to know their units. If we put all this together I think we are ready to do it.
“I want to conclude that as a nation we should ensure that as a country we do not put any landmines and obstacles on the path of our people as they prepare to vote this year.”
However, the Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, expressed concern over court pronouncements in the electoral process as they erode confidence of the electorates in the judiciary.
“It is of huge concern looking at the recent pronouncement by the courts. I would like to remind the judiciary that justice is rooted in public confidence.
“A situation where the public is losing faith and trust in the system won’t mean well for us”, Itodo stated.
Also the Executive Director, IPC, Lanre Arogundade, called on security agencies to give adequate security cover for journalists during the election coverage, and not to leave them at the mercy of political thugs who attacked journalists in previous elections conducted by INEC.
Meanwhile, Arogundade called on media professionals at the meeting to ensure professionalism is put to play in discharging their election assignment, and also said the scarcity of Naira should be holistically addressed by Mr President before the elections.
“The issue of naira scarcity will also affect observers and journalists because they will also need money to move around. Therefore something must be done to ensure that we have easy coverage”, he said.