The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega has stated that next week’s elections will hold as scheduled.
He made this statement in Abuja on Wednesday at a dialogue session with civil society organizations under the Election Situation Room hosted in Abuja by the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC).
He said: “We are adequately prepared for the rescheduled elections, I have not seen any indication from anywhere for further postponement.”
While addressing some of the issues facing the commission, he said the last batch of the 500,000 voters’ cards would be ready before Saturday
With regard to security,Jega said: “No public officer should be accompanied by armed or uniformed security to the polling unit on the Election Day”
He insisted that it shouldn’t be an excuse for unjustifiable movements and said the only challenge faced is with so-called high profile people and top government officials who break this rule
“We’ve been emphatic with our security operatives on the need to be more diligent, that those guidelines are complied with,” he said
He also added that the original arrangements made for Internally displaced persons would stand.
Insisting that ” in places where people have moved back and it is verified that it’s safe to conduct elections polling units would be set up to prevent the disenfranchisement of any citizen.”
He further noted that ballot boxes had been color coded to ease and make clear differentiation on the political offices being voted for
He made it clear that all electoral officers who breach the laws guiding the electoral process would be punished accordingly
“Because we are having three sets of elections on the same day we are using three ballot boxes and two for March 28th and April 2nd respectively” he added.
He also added that arrangement have been carried out in partnership with unions to prevent issues of logistics.
The director Information Communication Technology of the commission, Mr Chidi Nwofor asaid that network breach would not stop the card reader from doing its work in terms of accreditation and authentication
He said: “You can send cue and delay until the network is back, because these machines have been set to suit the network coverage of each region”
Chidi opined that anyone who tried to carry out criminal activities such as ballot stuffing would be wasting their time.
He said: “The new voting system using the PVC’s have eliminated most challenges that have bedeviled the electoral process over the years such as multiple voting, improper compilation of results And ballot stuffing.