Over 2.5 Million Registered Voters Eligible For Anambra Election, Says INEC

A file photo of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said over 2.5 million registered voters are eligible to participate in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this during an emergency meeting of political parties at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

According to him, a total of 138,802 citizens registered to vote during the first quarter of the agency’s Continuous Voter Registration exercise which commenced in June.

However, it was discovered that 62,698 people who are already registered voters, had applied again.

READ ALSO: INEC Releases Final List Of Candidates For Anambra Election

“The number of valid registrants in Anambra State at the end of the First Quarter of the CVR exercise on 5th September 2021 is 77,475,” Professor Yakubu said.

“This figure has been added to the existing register of 2,447,996 eligible voters used for the 2019 General Election. Accordingly, the number of registered voters in Anambra State now stands at 2,525,471. We shall provide a detailed breakdown of the figure for public information in the days ahead.”

While noting that the commission will provide further details to Nigerians on the situation in other States of the Federation and action to be taken on the matter, the INEC Chairman cautioned Nigerians against double registration.

While lamenting the spate of attacks in Anambra State, the commission said security remains a major challenge to its preparations.

“For the political parties, these heinous attacks have truncated campaigns, making voter mobilization and sensitization impossible. Consequently, Anambra State is not in the usual election mood. It is in the light of the security situation in the State that the Commission held an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) last Tuesday.

“The meeting was frank and productive. We are assured of the determination of the security agencies to protect voters, election staff, election observers, the media, transport providers and candidates during the election. Already, security around INEC facilities in the State has been ramped up.

“We are also confident that the heightened deployment of security officials, which is expected in the coming weeks, will further give citizens the confidence to turn up and vote on Election Day. We shall continue to work with the security agencies to ensure that the election is successful and violence-free,” Yakubu added.

The INEC Chairman also appealed to all political parties and candidates not to exacerbate the feeling of insecurity in Anambra State through unguarded utterances and actions.

He warned that doing so could compound the security situation and make the Commission’s work even more difficult.

2023 Elections: INEC Announces Date To Begin E-Registration For CVR

A file photo of the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will open an online portal for eligible voters who are currently not on the country’s voter’s register, to get registered ahead of the General Election in 2023.

INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu stated this at a consultative meeting with media practitioners in Abuja on Monday.

He noted that the portal will help address the challenge of over-crowding at the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) centers.

According to him, the commission will continue the exercise on a quarterly basis for one year, beginning from Monday, June 28, 2021.

“Registration of eligible Nigerians as voters is one of the immediate tasks before the commission. Consequently, in the next one week, from Monday, June 28, the commission will resume continuous voter’s registration.”

Also in a statement released after the meeting, the Chairman said that online registration will help to reduce the burden of long queues during CVR.

He said, “In the next one week, Monday 28th June 2021, the Commission will resume the Continuous Voter Registration nationwide.

“In doing so, the Commission is introducing a portal to enable eligible Nigerians to commence registration as voters online before completing the exercise physically at designated centres nationwide.”

“This is the first time a major exercise of this nature is handled partially online, consistent with the Commission’s commitment to continue to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process in Nigeria.

“Just like the expansion of voter access to Polling Units, the Commission appeals to the media for support so that this novel idea will also be successful.”

The INEC Boss also noted that the exercise will last for a year.

2023 Polls: INEC Boss Meets With Electoral Commissioners In Abuja

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, has met with all the Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Speaking at the commission’s headquarters on Monday, he directed all RECs to submit an inventory of all electoral materials in their care ahead of the next general election.

Professor Yakubu said the move is necessary to enable the commission to overcome the logistics challenges it faces during elections promising that the next general election will be better than all previous polls.

“As you are also aware, the commission is committed to deepening the culture of planning for elections. The current five-year plan covering the period 2017-2021 expires this year,” he said.

READ ALSO: PDP Has Confidence, Zeal To Save Nigeria, Says Wike

“For this reason, a committee involving the participation of some Resident Electoral Commissioners was inaugurated a few weeks ago to review the strategic plan and the strategic programme of action to cover the next cycle of five years, 2022-2026.

“As we continue to plan for the next general elections, the RECs have been directed to compile and submit an inventory of all election materials in order to determine shortfalls and early steps to ensure there are adequacy and availability.”

This is the first meeting the commission is holding with the recs after series of consultative meetings with political parties and other stakeholders on the need to create more polling units.

Senate Confirms Professor Mahmood Yakubu As INEC Chairman

A file photo of former INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

 

The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The confirmation was given on Tuesday during plenary in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

This comes five days after the Senate Committee on INEC has screened Yakubu following his nomination for appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.

On November 26, the screening session took place at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

In his remarks, Professor Yakubu appealed to the National Assembly to pass the Amended Electoral Act Bill latest in the first quarter of 2021.

He explained that passing the piece of legislation within the timeframe recommended was critical for the success of the 2023 general elections.

READ ALSO: Buhari Reappoints INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu For Another Term

The former INEC chief informed the lawmakers that the electoral body had submitted several areas for amendments in the Electoral Act.

According to him, it is extremely important for the electoral legal framework to be finalised in due time as INEC cannot conduct elections under uncertainty.

 

Bayelsa Bye-Election: Yakubu’s Departure, Others Won’t Affect INEC Activities, Says Muazu

Acting INEC Chairman, Ahmed Muazu, and Professor Mahmood Yakubu at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on November 9, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Air Vice Marshal Ahmed T. Muazu (retired), has said that the departure of Professor Mahmood Yakubu and other National Commissioners from the commission will not affect electoral activities.

He disclosed this on Monday during an interactive session with election stakeholders in Bayelsa State ahead of the December 5 bye-elections in the state.

“This is our first major outing since the temporary exit of the Chairman of the Commission Professor Mahmood Yakubu and the constitutional exit of other National Commissioners,” he said.

“We assure all the stakeholders that the activities of the Commission have not been affected by the departures.

READ ALSO: PDP Names South-East Zonal Caretaker Chairman, Auditor

“This is also the first election being conducted in Bayelsa State in the context of the pandemic and the Commission has made adequate arrangements in conformity with the protocols and guidelines issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigeria Center for Disease Control.”

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

OPENING REMARKS BY THE ACTING CHAIRMAN, AVM AHMED T. MUAZU AT AN INTERACTIVE SESSION WITH ELECTION STAKEHOLDERS IN BAYELSA STATE PREPARATORY TO THE CONDUCT OF DECEMBER 5, BYE-ELECTIONS.

  1. On behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) I welcome you to this interactive session.
  2. This is our first major outing since the temporary exit of the Chairman of the Commission Professor Mahmood Yakubu and the constitutional exit of other National Commissioners. We assure all the stakeholders that the activities of the Commission have not been affected by the departures. This is also the first election being conducted in Bayelsa State in the context of the pandemic and the Commission has made adequate arrangements in conformity with the protocols and guidelines issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigeria Center for Disease Control.
  3. The leadership of the Commission is in Bayelsa State to assess the readiness of its staff and processes relating to the two Senatorial bye-elections holding on December 5, 2020. We want to be sure that all the non-sensitive materials have been deployed. We want to be sure that all categories of ad-hoc staff have been recruited and trained. We want to be sure that the voters are sensitized and remobilized for the election. We also want to be sure that all the stakeholders have keyed into the plans of the Commission.
  4. This Commission is inclusive and consultative and this informs our constant engagement with the critical stakeholders in the electoral process. In this regard, the Commission has made adequate arrangements for Persons Living with Disability (PWD), the elderly and pregnant women. We believe that it is important for all the stakeholders to understand the processes and procedures of the Commission which is constantly evolving based on new innovations and creative application of new technologies in the electoral processes. The sensitive materials for the election will be here on time and stakeholders will have the opportunity of being at the Central Bank to view and audit the materials before they are moved to the Local Government Areas.
  5. The Bayelsa Central Senatorial Bye-Election will be conducted in three Local Government Areas with 43 Registration Areas and 860 Polling Units and Voting Points involving a total of 418, 109 Registered Voters, and a total of 395,554 Permanent Voters Cards collected. In this regard, the Commission will deploy a total of 3589 election staff. The Bayelsa West Senatorial District election will also be held in two Local Governments with a total of 26 Registration Areas and 410 Polling Units and Voting Points. It will also involve a total of 234,649 registered voters with a total of 229,022 Permanent Voters Cards collected. The Commission will deploy a total of 1716 election staff.
  6. We implore all the voters in these two Senatorial Districts not to lower their guards in terms of the COVID-19 protocols. All registered voters must come to the polling units with their facemasks as the policy of the Commission remains NO FACEMASK NO VOTING. The Commission will also implement the two-tier queuing system involving an inner cordon and outer cordon as well as the strategic and targeted deployment of infrared thermometers to polling units and Collation Centers.
  7. The Commission will activate and deploy the Z-pads for the purposes of real time uploading of Forms EC8A (Polling Unit Results) using the INEC Result Viewing Portal. We are committed to transparency and accountability in the electoral process and will keep upgrading the processes and procedures of the Commission to achieve free, fair and safe elections.
  8. We implore all the critical stakeholders to reeve up and accelerate voter and civic education and get out the votes. The value of the vote must on no account be diminished and mandate is compromised when a negligible proportion of the people exercise their democratic franchise.
  9. We assure the voting population that adequate security will be provided at the polling stations and the collation centers. We have improved our collaboration with security agencies and this synergy assisted in the good conduct of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections. The Commission and the security agencies will activate a joint situation room for smooth and timely coordination of security and electoral operations and necessary interventions when the need arises. We have the assurance of the highest echelon of the security agencies that they are prepared for the election and that their state structures will be activated to aid the process.
  10. We urge all the critical stakeholders to remain law-abiding and be assured that in this and all elections, the votes of the people will be the sole determinant of who gets elected to office. We received tremendous support from the voters in Edo and Ondo States and we expect nothing less from the voters in Bayelsa.

23rd NOVEMBER, 2020

Electronic Voting May Be Introduced For Anambra Election Next Year, Says INEC Chairman

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says electronic voting might be introduced in the Anambra State election come 2021.

This was disclosed by Chairman of the Electoral body, Professor Mahmood Yakubu after a budget defence session with the House of Reps Committee on INEC.

After a closed door session with the legislators, Professor Yakubu said the electoral umpire is looking at better ways to conduct free and fair elections in the country.

READ ALSO: Drama As Reps Committee Members Disagree With INEC Chairman Over Budget

At an earlier meeting with the Senate Committee on INEC, Professor Yakubu announced that the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise will commence in the first quarter of 2021 ahead of the 2023 general election.

He also stated that the sum of N1billion has been earmarked by INEC for the exercise.

Professor Yakubu during the session said he is in support of diaspora voting and called on the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to accommodate diaspora and early voting.

The INEC boss also urged the Senate approve the spending of N5.2 billion from the special INEC fund to make up for the shortfall in the 2020 budget which was reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2023 Election: INEC Announces Resumption Of Voter Registration, Earmarks N1billion

A file photo of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise will commence in the first quarter of 2021 ahead of the 2023 general election.

The sum of N1billion has also been earmarked by INEC for the exercise.

This announcement was made on Wednesday by Chairman of the Electoral body, Professor Mahmood Yakubu during a budget defence session with the Senate Committee on INEC.

READ ALSO: Senate Queries Lai Mohammed Over N250m Project, N19m Travel Expenses

Professor Yakubu during the session said he is in support of diaspora voting and called on the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to accommodate diaspora and early voting.

The INEC boss is also seeking approval of the Senate to spend N5.2 billion from the special INEC fund to make up for the shortfall in the 2020 budget which was cut because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

INEC had earlier in October said the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the voter registration exercise.

The Chief Press Secretary to the commission said the virus was still very much in the community and CVR is a national exercise that requires the mobilisation of a lot of equipment, materials, and personnel.

Reappointment: PDP Charges INEC Chairman On Credible, Conclusive Elections  

A file photo of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu to work towards delivering more credible, free, and fair elections in the country.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the charge followed the reappointment of Yakubu by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The party states that this re-appointment entrusts on Prof. Yakubu the fate, hope and future of over 200 million Nigerians as well as that of generations yet unborn,” the statement partly read.

“In the light of this five-year extension, our party hopes that the failures, disappointments and miscarriages that characterized the first five years tenure of Yakubu will have no place in the new order.

“It is therefore instructive to state that with his re-appointment, Prof Yakubu has been given an ample time and opportunity to redeem himself, the image of the commission and preparation for credible, free and fair elections in our country.

“At least, with this reappointment whatever happens in our future elections cannot be ascribed to inexperience and lack of adequate preparedness on the side of INEC.”

The party also asked President Buhari to “demonstrate a readiness for a free fair and credible election, which Mr. President had always promised to bequeath at the end of his second and final term in office in 2023.”

 

See Full Statement Here:

INEC: PDP Charges Yakubu on Credible, Conclusive Elections

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) notes the reappointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The party states that this re-appointment entrusts on Prof. Yakubu the fate, hope and future of over 200 million Nigerians as well as that of generations yet unborn.

In the light of this five-year extension, our party hopes that the failures, disappointments and miscarriages that characterized the first five years tenure of Yakubu will have no place in the new order.

It is therefore instructive to state that with his re-appointment, Prof Yakubu has been given an ample time and opportunity to redeem himself, the image of the commission and preparation for credible, free and fair elections in our country.

At least, with this reappointment whatever happens in our future elections cannot be ascribed to inexperience and lack of adequate preparedness on the side of INEC.

Furthermore, we consider this reappointment by President Buhari as an impetus to demonstrate a readiness for a free fair and credible election, which Mr. President had always promised to bequeath at the end of his second and final term in office in 2023.

We therefore charge the INEC Chairman to spend the nearly two years ahead of the next general election to rejig the commission, work out appropriate electoral policies and guidelines and push for amendment of the Electoral Act, in conjunction with the National Assembly, to give our nation a credible electoral process.

Professor Yakubu must be mindful of the aphorism that “to whom much is given, much more is expected”.

His reappointment therefore comes with a lot of expectations by Nigerians. He must quickly take painstaking look into issues that aid manipulations, rigging, violence and inconclusive elections which marred most of the exercises conducted in his previous tenure.

Prof. Yakubu should note that the future, stability and corporate existence of our nation have been entrusted in his hands as credible election is the bedrock of any democratic society.

Our party urges the National Assembly, particularly, the Senate, to focus on these pertinent issues in the course of screening Prof. Yakubu to ensure that the failures of the past is not given accommodation in the new era.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan

National Publicity Secretary

Ondo Election: We Can’t Rest On Our Oars, INEC Chairman Tells Staff

File photo: INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, addressing a press conference in Abuja on February 14, 2020: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has charged staff of the organization to resist any action that will mar the Ondo Governorship election, saying the electoral umpire cannot rest on its oars. 

“Indeed, our staff members, assisted by the security agencies and other critical stakeholders, did not spare any effort in ensuring the successful conduct of the election,” he said in a statement on Thursday, while recalling the success recorded by INEC in the recently concluded Edo Governorship election.

“Clearly, Nigerians and friends of Nigeria are pleased with the outcome and we are encouraged by their commendations. However, we cannot afford to rest on our oars. Another end-of-tenure Governorship election is upon us. There is now an even higher expectation on Ondo State.”

READ ALSO: We Need Very Composed And Focused Leadership – Akeredolu

While restating the body’s resolve for a free and fair election in Ondo State, Professor Mahmood implored INEC staff to “resist any form of temptation and let your individual actions be guided by the extant laws and good conscience,” stressing that “only the choice of the electorate” will prevail.

“Always remember that any unethical action by one INEC official is capable of rubbing off on all of us,” he explained. “Remain vigilant, principled and committed to the mission and vision of the Commission.”

READ ALSO: OndoDebate2020: We Need A More Holistic And Practical View At Governance – Jegede

 

The Ondo governorship election will take place on Saturday, October 10th with the incumbent, Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Eyitayo Jegede among candidates jostling for the position.

 

 

Edo Election: INEC Remains Neutral, Voters Choice Will Be Respected – Yakubu

Professor Mahmood Yakubu

 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the electoral body is committed to conducting free, fair and credible election in Edo State.

Speaking during a Peace Accord organised by the National Peace Committee on Tuesday in Benin, the INEC boss said the commission remains neutral, adding that the choice of Edo voters will be respected in the election.

“I wish to assure you of INEC’s commitment to credible elections. The votes will count. The people of Edo State will determine who becomes their next governor.  Their choice will be upheld.

“Let me also reassure you and the voters in Edo State of the commission’s neutrality. I call on all political parties and their candidates to abide by the letter and spirit of the peace accord,” he said.

Speaking further, Yakubu asked political candidates to allow the signed Peace Accord serve as a covenant with the people of the state.

In doing this, he wants them to maintain peace before, during and after the September 19 election to avoid bloodshed.

His remarks come 24 hours after he reiterated the commission’s readiness to smoothly conduct the election.

READ ALSO: Candidates Sign Peace Accord Ahead Edo Election

Yakubu who spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting in Benin City, said INEC will not undermine the integrity of the electoral process.

“The Commission shall not take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate. Our focus is on our processes and procedures, nothing more,” he said.

On plans made by the electoral umpire for the exercise, Yakubu said the commission has recruited, trained and carefully screened all categories of ad hoc staff to be deployed to the field.

He also revealed that sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the election have been delivered in the state, noting that voter education and sensitisation are ongoing.

“We have made arrangements for the movement of personnel and materials to all polling units on election day.

“The Commission has taken every step and made every arrangement for the election holding this weekend.”

Your Votes Will Count, INEC Assures Edo Electorates

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu

 

Ahead of the September 19 governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured the electorates that their votes will count.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu gave the assurance on Monday during a stakeholders’ meeting in Benin City, the state capital.

To Yakubu, it is only the choice made by the voters that will determine who the next governor of the state will be for another four years.

“I wish to reassure you that votes will count and only the choice made by the people of Edo State will determine the outcome of the election,” he said. “The Commission shall not take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate. Our focus is on our processes and procedures, nothing more.”

 

SEE FULL SPEECH HERE:

ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE CHAIRMAN, INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION, PROFESSOR MAHMOOD YAKUBU, AT THE EDO GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION STAKEHOLDERS’ MEETING HELD AT THE OBA AKENZUA II CULTURAL CENTRE, BENIN CITY, MONDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 2020

1.​ Let me join our Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Edo State to once again welcome you all to this meeting. As many of you are aware, the Governorship election in Edo State will hold this Saturday after several months of preparations since the Commission released the timetable and schedule of activities on 6th February 2020. This is also the first Governorship election that the Commission will be conducting in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global health emergency has necessitated a review of our policies, processes and procedures to protect the health of all those involved in elections in line with the guidelines issued by health authorities.

2.​ The Commission has dutifully carried out 12 out of 14 scheduled tasks contained in the timetable and schedule of activities for the election. We held many meetings with political parties and their candidates. We had several engagements with the security agencies at national and state levels. We consulted with stakeholders. We sought for and received, the blessings of Royal Fathers and religious leaders. We have recruited, trained and carefully screened all categories of ad hoc staff to be deployed to the field. We have delivered all non-sensitive materials for the election. Voter education and sensitisation are ongoing. We have made arrangements for the movement of personnel and materials to all polling units on Election Day. The Commission has taken every step and made every arrangement for the election holding this weekend.

READ ALSO: Claims And Counter Claims Dominate As Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu Debate

3.​ Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the choice of who becomes the next Governor of Edo State is entirely in the hands of the voters. I wish to reassure you that votes will count and only the choice made by the people of Edo State will determine the outcome of the election. The Commission shall not take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate. Our focus is on our processes and procedures. Nothing more.

4.​ In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, polling units will now open at 8.30 am (instead of 8.00 am) and close at 2.30 pm (instead of 2.00 pm). This has become necessary in order to accommodate the additional measures to protect public health necessitated by the global health emergency. However, all eligible voters who are on the queue by 2.30 pm will be allowed to vote in line with the Commission’s regulations. Other procedures for the election are clearly outlined in the Voters’ Code of Conduct (VCC) which has since been disseminated. Similarly, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge polling agents, election observers and the media to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Commission’s policy, copies of which have been widely circulated and more will be shared at this meeting.

5.​ As in previous elections, the Commission is deploying magnifying glasses and braille ballot guides to assist Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to vote unaided. Earlier, the Commission translated and published its policy of conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Voters’ Code of Conduct into braille in order to ensure greater awareness and effective participation of all citizens in the electoral process irrespective of disability.

6.​ To underscore our commitment to a credible and transparent electoral process in Nigeria, the Commission is determined to deepen the deployment of technology in elections. It is for this reason that the Commission recently built portals for the nomination of candidates by political parties as well as the accreditation of election observers and the media. We have used the portals seamlessly in preparing for the Edo Governorship election. The same applies to the Ondo Governorship election. We will deploy the same platforms for all subsequent elections, including the forthcoming bye-elections in 15 constituencies across 11 States of the Federation scheduled for 31st October 2020. We are working to ensure that in future elections, even the accreditation of polling agents nominated by political parties will also be done online.

7.​ Perhaps the most critical of the recent innovations introduced by the Commission is the use of a tablet now popularly called the z-pad. It is a new innovation introduced to serve as a secondary means of achieving full biometric accreditation using the facial image of the voter in support of the fingerprint authentication by the Smart Card Reader. Secondly, the camera on the tablet will be used to take a picture of the polling unit result (EC8A) and to upload the same on a dedicated portal (INEC RESULT VIEWING – IReV). This will enable all those interested in viewing the results to do so in real-time. The Commission deployed the z-pad in the Nasarawa Central State Constituency bye-election in Nasarawa State on 8th August 2020. It was a test-run intended to assess the functionality of the technology before its deployment in major elections. While the capture and upload of polling unit level result went on smoothly, the facial authentication did not. Without going into the technical details, let me say that the Commission encountered hardware and software issues which needed to be fixed.

8.​ Our ICT Department worked on the new device and made a presentation to the Commission which decided that the system needs to be robust enough before it can be deployed in a major election. Unlike the 44 polling units of the Nasarawa Central State Constituency, the Edo Governorship election involves 2,627 polling units. The Commission decided that since this technology is work in progress, we should carry out a further test-run in some of the smaller constituencies during the bye-elections scheduled for 31st October 2020 and thereafter engage with stakeholders before it can be deployed in major elections. The atmosphere in Edo State ahead of the election this weekend is already charged. We cannot afford to complicate it further by introducing a new technology we are not yet fully satisfied with.

9.​ However, the uploading of polling unit level results in the election on Saturday will proceed as planned. The z-pads have already been delivered, configured and ad hoc staff trained on its deployment on Election Day. Enough chargers have been provided to address the power problem identified during the Nasarawa test-run. We envisage that there will be high traffic of persons interested in viewing the results in real-time. Consequently, the Commission has dynamically expanded the result viewing portal to accommodate almost two million viewers at the same time without clogging. To view the uploaded results, please visit our website (www.inecelectionresults.com) to register and create an account.

10.​ I must quickly add that the Smart Card Readers will be used for voter verification and authentication. This is a mandatory requirement and where it is deliberately avoided to undermine the integrity of the electoral process, the result for the affected polling unit will be declared void in line with the Commission’s regulations and guidelines.

11.​ The Commission is also aware of the concern expressed in some quarters about the neutrality of our staff, in particular, the ad hoc staff engaged for election duty. We have heard allegations that some ad hoc staff were recruited in such a manner as to compromise the election. In response, the Commission deployed two National Commissioners who reviewed the process for strict compliance with the guidelines for such recruitment. I want to assure you that all categories of ad hoc staff have been vetted. The integrity of the process will not be compromised and there will be no partisan infiltration.

12.​ As the eligible voters in Edo State go to the polls on Saturday, I wish to renew my appeal to all political parties, candidates and their supporters for peaceful conduct. Your votes will count. Polling unit-level results will be uploaded for public view. However, this will not happen where the process is disrupted by violence or malpractices. The Commission is determined that no one will benefit from impunity or rewarded for bad behaviour such as vote-buying, ballot box snatching and stuffing, multiple voting, hijacking and diversion of election materials, disruption of collation, falsification of results, attack on INEC officials or compelling them to declare unofficial results. The people of Edo State must be allowed to freely vote for their preferred candidate without inducement or harassment. We have been assured by the security agencies that thugs and their sponsors will not have the freedom to move around freely to disrupt the election or collation of results. The Inspector-General of Police who is here personally will speak more about their plans to safeguard the process.

13.​ On Election Day, the national headquarters of INEC will monitor the election throughout Edo State. Our Zoom Situation Room will receive live reports from the field. Accredited observers and the media will also be invited to join at intervals. By doing so, the Commission will receive first-hand information as the election is going on. At the same time, citizens can contact us on our various platforms such as the toll-free INEC Citizens Contact Centre (ICCC) telephone line in addition to our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

14.​ On this note, let me once again welcome you all to this meeting and to assure the people of Edo State that the Commission has taken every step to ensure that the election this weekend is free, fair, credible, inclusive and safe.

15.​ I thank you all for your presence and God bless.

 INEC Boss, IGP Meet Stakeholders Ahead Of Edo Governorship Poll    

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu meet with stakeholders in Benin on September 14, 2020 ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

 

With the Edo State governorship election barely five days away, the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Nigeria Police held a meeting with stakeholders in Benin City.

The meeting is part of preparations towards the smooth conduct of the exercise on September 19, said to be the first of its kind in the nation’s COVID-19 era.

Channels Television’s Political Correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye reports that the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu were in attendance.

Also, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and incumbent Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his deputy, Philip Shuaibu were also present.

On his part, the INEC boss said the commission has met 12 of the necessary steps for the smooth conduct of the election.

He assured the electorates and the public that sensitive materials would be deployed as scheduled, adding that card readers will be used during the election while the face recognition feature of the ZPad will not be utilised for this election.

Professor Yakubu asked political parties and their supporters to maintain peace for the conduct of the exercise to be peaceful.

In his remark, IGP Adamu revealed that the Nigeria Police Force has identified flashpoint for violence in the state and are under watch.

The police chief, however, advised the public to follow the guidelines for a peaceful election.