Nigeria’s election body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday began the nationwide distribution of sensitive materials ahead of the weekend’s presidential poll.
Speaking with reporters in the southwestern state of Lagos, Olusegun Agbaje, the resident electoral commissioner (REC) for the INEC in the state, said all political parties were invited to witness the distribution of the election materials to states amid tight security, from where they would be circulated for use on the day of the presidential and national assembly polls. “We have enough materials; we even have a surplus. We do not have a problem with ballot papers and other sensitive materials,” Agbaje said. “The police and soldiers will escort all trucks to various local government areas.”
Uthman Ajidagba, an INEC official in the central state of Nasarawa, told reporters in the state capital of Lafia that the materials distributed included customized ballot papers, result sheets as well as the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines. Ajidagba said all the BVAS machines to be used in the election had already been configured, and that additional backup BVAS machines were also deployed alongside technicians to handle unforeseen problems during the polls. The INEC in the northern state of Kano said it had concluded all the necessary arrangements to ensure the conduct of hitch-free elections.
Adam Maulud, the state’s spokesman for the INEC, said the electoral body had concluded all necessary arrangements to transport all the sensitive materials for the elections to all the polling units to ensure free, fair, and credible exercise. “We have already equipped our personnel with basic electoral knowledge for the conduct of transparent elections,” Maulud said in a ceremony held ahead of the distribution of the election materials. Oyekola Oyelami, the INEC commissioner in the southwestern state of Ondo, said during a meeting with stakeholders that the electoral body had already concluded its arrangements for the conduct of the general elections with the safe delivery of the sensitive materials to the state and beyond. While the presidential election and elections into the country’s bicameral legislature will be held on Feb. 25, governorship and state legislature elections will be on March 11, according to an official timetable set by the INEC.