2019: INEC to commence training of corps members on smart card readers

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to commence early training of corps members who are engaged as electoral officers on the handling of smart card readers ahead of the 2019 election.

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos in Lagos, Mr. Sam Olumekun noted that one of the reasons the smart card readers fail was because of the way they were handled.

Olumekun said this during advocacy visits to the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the state.

According to him, given the advancement in technology, it is imperative to deepen the training given to the electoral officers to improve on the performance of the 2015 elections.

A statement by INEC spokesperson in Lagos, Femi Akinbiyi quoted the REC as saying at NYSC camp: “This time around, we want to devote time to educate the Corps members during their Community Development (CD) activities at various Local governments”.

He commended the State coordinator of NYSC, Prince Mohammed Momoh for the support to the commission, adding, “We thank you for your usual support, the Commission will like to improve the MoU between us, please if there is area we need to fine tune in the MoU, let us know now so as to cement the synergy for it to work better in future”.

At the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the REC called on the agency to help in mobilizing Lagosians to participate actively in the electoral processes.

“I want the NOA to especially join the Commission in mobilising eligible for voters who have abandoned their Permanent voters cards (PVC) to come and claim them.”

“The Commission is ready to partner with NOA and other stakeholders in our drive to deliver credible, transparent, free and fair elections in 2019.

“INEC has developed an election project plan and strategic plan of action and has itemised all we need to conduct successful free and fair elections.

“If the last election was rated very high by both local and international observers, we are prepared to deliver a more credible one in 2019 to surpass previous achievement.”

2019: INEC Plans Electronic Results Announcement

The Independent National Electoral Commission has stated that results announcement will not only be in physical copies to party agents but will also be announced electronically.

INEC, has then implored telecommunication agencies to assist in this new approach.

This was said by the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu when he visited the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the same mechanism would be used in the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections in July and September, respectively.

Yakubu said, “We are planning for full deployment (of electronic and manual transmission) this year in governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun. Thereafter we intend to deploy the system in the 2019 general elections.

“INEC has developed the hardware and software. However, we rely on the operators for the transmission of both the figures and scanned images of result sheets. We wish to assure Nigerians that while we transmit the raw figures from polling units, scanned images of the result sheets will also be transmitted electronically in addition to physical copies given to party agents at polling units.”

Yakubu appealed to the NCC as the regulator to facilitate a meeting between INEC and the telecommunications operators with the aim of assisting the electoral body in the conduct of the election.

The INEC boss added, “Similarly, we would like the NCC to facilitate discussions with operators on ways of enhancing their corporate social responsibility to Nigeria’s electoral process. An immediate area of interest to INEC is how the operators can help in voter education and publicity.

“Towards the 2019 general elections, we would like the operators in collaboration with INEC, to send bulk SMS and possibly voice messages as well on the imperative of peaceful elections, the collection of Permanent Voter Cards by registered voters and directional information on the location of polling units for easy access to voters.”

In his response, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC said his agency would try to help the electoral body to ensure that the 2019 elections are free, fair and credible.

Dabatta said the NCC would try to improve the security of the communications system before the 2019 election so that it would be effective for the dissemination of election results.

INEC Warns Staff Against Extortion

The Edo office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned its staff against extorting eligible voters.

INEC issued the warning as the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) in the state progresses.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Obo Effanga, who was at an interactive session with members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Benin, reacted to allegations of extortion of eligible voters.

He said there was no such complaint before him, but warned that any staff caught in the act would be disciplined accordingly.

Effanga disclosed that over 460,000 permanent voter cards (PVCs) were yet to be collected by their owners in the state.

” We have a total of 1,900,423 registered voter in Edo state prior to the continuous voter registration.

“But we have only distributed 1,445, 749 PVCs while over 460,000 registered voters are yet to collect their PVCs.

“ We have also registered additional 38,448 at the conclusion of the first phase of the CVR,” he said.

He said the commission had created additional six registration centres to give eligible voters the opportunity to register in the ongoing second phase of the CVR.

While cautioning eligible voters against double registration, he warned that the commission would not hesitate to prosecute anyone who flouts the law.
He said the commission was at the NUJ to seek collaboration with the body in the area of sensitization of the electorate, particularly those in the rural area on the need to register.

He added that “only the INEC card will enable you to perform your franchise.’’