…Make adequate provisions for corps members, ad- hoc staff
Tunde Opalana, AbujaTwo days to Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians and the international community that it has achieved a 100 percent configuration of smart card readers to be used on Saturday. Briefing newsmen on the Commission’s preparation on Wednesday, INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, reiterated that the card readers cannot be corrupted or manipulated. He promised to announce at today’s briefing, numbers of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) collected ahead of the 2019 polls. He stated: “At yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) briefing, we reported that we achieved 95% configuration of the Smart Card Readers (SCR) nationwide. 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 8am on Election Day. They automatically shut down by 10 pm in order to forestall any illegal use before the appointed time of elections. I am pleased to report that we have now achieved 100% completion of the configuration. We are good to go on this score. “Similarly, I briefed you yesterday (Tuesday) that our State offices had commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the Central Bank of Nigeria to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week and to witness the batching of materials according to Local Government Areas (LGAs). Reports from the States indicate full compliance. “Similarly, I briefed you yesterday (Tuesday) that having moved the sensitive materials to the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the forward deployment to the 774 LGAs nationwide will commence today, Wednesday, 20th February 2019 and be concluded tomorrow, Thursday, 21st February 2019. “Already, Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Osun, Ogun, Oyo and Taraba States have commenced the movement of materials to LGAs today (Wednesday). Other States will do so and conclude tomorrow (today). We will give a full rendition of movement to LGAs across all States of the federation tomorrow (today). “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 (today) at 3pm,” Yakubu added.