INEC says it is ready for Presidential election
All necessary polling material and manpower now deployed across the nation
Movement of Motorcycle prohibited from late Friday to Early Sunday in Plateau State
Police says 240000 0fficers deployed to various parts of the country in readiness for presidential election
CHAIRMAN of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, on Thursday, told the two delegations of international observer missions that are in the country to monitor the elections that the commission is well prepared for tomorrow’s presidential poll.
Professor Jega, who received the election observers at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, told the delegations of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Election Observation Mission to Nigeria that INEC had already deployed electoral materials in all the states ahead of the presidential poll.
Jega said: ”All materials that we need are already on the ground and distributed in the states and from the reports we are getting in many of the states, actual distribution and deployment to particularly far-flung corners of the states has already commenced and there is very good working relationship between our officers and security agents.
“Frankly, I think we have done everything possible to hold the presidential election on Saturday and to also make sure that the outcome is a substantial improvement over last Saturday’s election and we hope to keep on doing this on an incremental basis, so that by the time we hold the governorship and state assembly elections, our hope is that the last election will be the best in the sequence of elections that we hold.”
Jega said that there was no going back on the modified open ballot system adopted for the election. He said it would be unwise to adopt a new voting strategy midway into the general election.
“In the meeting that we had on Tuesday, we paid a lot of attention to strengthening the accreditation system, making it more efficient and also the voting procedure.
“With time, when we restore sufficient credibility to the process, then we can begin to look at other ways of ensuring a more convenient procedure. But for now, we will make do with the Open Modified Ballot System,” the INEC boss declared.
However, a press statement from ECOWAS disclosed that former president of the Interim Government of Liberia, Professor Amos Sawyyer, will head the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission for the presidential poll.
The statement disclosed that 300 regional observers are being deployed in the six geopolitical zones of the country to observe the election.
The statement reads in part: “Members of the mission include ECOWAS Ambassadors, representatives of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, representatives of civil society organisations, the ECOWAS Parliament and Court of Justice, electoral experts, as well as representatives of electoral commissions from the 15-member states.
“Professor Sawyyer, who will be joined on election day by the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, was part of the ECOWAS Observer Mission to the 2008 general election in Ghana. He led the organisation’s pre-election fact-finding mission to Ghana in October 2008.
“These missions also enabled ECOWAS to determine appropriate assistance to be rendered to such states in order to ensure the conduct of free, transparent and credible elections in the region,” the statement concluded.