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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday unfolded plans to use Biometric Voter Form for the governorship election in Anambra State on Saturday.

Its Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, said any voter without a genuine Permanent Voter Card (PVC) will not be allowed to vote.

DCO Global News
Published on November 4, 2021
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

The INEC boss, who spoke in Awka, the state capital, said all sensitive materials will be distributed at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office tomorrow.

Yesterday, Police Inspector General Usman Baba clarified that the heavy security deployment to the state was neither meant to intimidate nor scare voters.

He said the motive was to checkmate hoodlums and ensure safeby of voters.

Members of the Abdulsalami Abubakar-led Peace Team are expected in Awka today for the signing of peace pacts by the parties accredited for the poll.

Yakubu, who said the polling materials are in Anambra and Imo States, spoke at an interactive session with governorship candidates and other stakeholders.

He said the materials were safe, adding that a day to the election, the commission would invite candidates, media, election monitors and other stakeholders to witness their deployment to local government areas.

He said: “The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Anambra State has just briefed us on our detailed preparations for the election, including logistics and the recruitment, training and deployment of election duty staff.

“Non-sensitive materials have been delivered to the 21 Local Government Areas. The sensitive materials are secure in the branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) here in Awka.

“As is always the case on the eve of major elections, INEC will invite political parties, civil society organisations and the media to the CBN tomorrow Thursday 4th November 2021 to inspect the sensitive materials and to witness their movement to the various Local Government Areas under security escort.

“By the same arrangement, the materials will be delivered to the Registration Areas or Wards on Friday 5th November 2021 to facilitate the opening of Polling Units at 8.30am on Election Day i.e. Saturday 6th November 2021.

“I want to assure all voters in Anambra State that in designing the sensitive materials for the election, the Commission has introduced additional visible and invisible security features, including different colour codes.

“Materials have also been customized by Local Government Areas and Polling Units.

“We are also determined to prosecute perpetrators of electoral malpractice, including any election duty staff found to be complicit. The choice of the next Governor of Anambra State is in the hands of the eligible voters and their will must prevail.”

The INEC chairman said Anambra State will make history because the Commission will deploy the Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) device.

“This new device replaces the Smart Card Reader (SCR) used in previous elections since 2015. We are satisfied with the pilot deployment of the BVAS in the Isoko South I State Constituency Bye-election in Delta State on 11th September 2021.

“ The BVAS has the dual capacity for fingerprint and facial authentication of voters.

“This is to guard against voting by identity theft where one person uses another person’s Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to vote using the incident form. With this development, the use of the incident form is abolished. No voter without a genuine PVC will vote.

“ No voter who has not been successfully accredited electronically using the BVAS will vote.

“At the same time, the BVAS is also equipped with a camera. Therefore, it has the capacity to snap Polling Unit level result and upload same to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal so that citizens can view results as election is concluded in each Polling Unit.

“Therefore, there is no need for the Z-Pad since its functions have been embedded in the BVAS. I am glad to report that all the BVAS required for the election on Saturday have been configured and delivered to Anambra State.

“Election duty staff have also been trained on the use of the device and we have sufficient technical staff to respond to any glitches that may occur.”

He told them that the process would be credible, adding that in his avowed commitment to transparency, the Commission had compiled a comprehensive list of all the Polling Units without voters as well as those having under 50 registered voters.

Inspector-General Baba said the security measure will to cover the three senatorial districts, 21 local government areas, 326 wards and 5,720 polling units across the State.

He said: “This massive deployment is not designed to intimidate the law-abiding as being insinuated in some quarters.

“ In the contrary, it is to re-assure them of adequate protection by deterring misguided political elements as well as non-state actors that might be bent on threatening the elections through acts of armed violence or other conducts that violate the provisions of the Electoral Act.

“It is to also serve as a strong warning that the government is determined to bring such subversive characters to justice should they advance their ignoble, undemocratic and unpatriotic intents.

“The overriding objective of our operational action plan is to ensure an environment that is peaceful enough to encourage the lawabiding people of Anambra State to exercise their electoral franchise.

“The message here is clear. For the political actors and electorates that are law abiding, they are fully assured of optimal security.

“However, for the destabilising elements and other deviants who despite all wise counsels are determined to deploy violence and other illegal means to advance their political interests or constitute a clog in the wheel of peaceful atmosphere for the election, they should be prepared for the consequences of their actions as they will be identified, isolated and decisively dealt with irrespective of their status, ideological inclinations or political affiliation.”

He maintained that the security operatives were stationed to help and support the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, conduct a free, fair, credible and successful election in the State.

“All the security personnel to be deployed are under instructions to be guided by the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Electoral Duty as developed jointly by INEC and security agencies.

“The document clearly highlights the roles, ethics and standard of operations of all security agents to be deployed on election security duties.

“Accordingly, all security agents are fully conscious of the fact that they are under an obligation to perform their functions within rule of law and civil dictates and that they could be held accountable for any professional conduct that negates the dictates of the Code of Conduct.

“Everyone is enjoined to vote and return to their respective houses or remain peacefully within approved perimeters of the polling centres, no one is allowed to move about from one polling unit to another, only INEC accredited Election Monitors/observers are allowed to move around, only accredited journalists are allowed to cover the election.”

By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka


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Anambra State Governorship candidates

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