…Says two Collation Officers for each polling unit
…Warns Staff against infractions
By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted on manual collation and transmission of the forth coming elections’ results.
The commission’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, told journalists at an interactive session, in Abuja, last night that, the decision to stick to manual collation and transmission of results was in line with extant electoral laws.
“We have a Bill for the amendment of the electoral law before the National Assembly. We have to conduct the elections in accordance with the provisions of the existing law. If the National Assembly amends the law, then we can act accordingly. We cannot act outside the law,” he said.
Asked if the refusal of President Buhari to assent to the Bill which had been sent to him by the legislature, the commissioner said, “In spite of the Bill not been signed, we have the capacity to conduct elections that Nigerians will be proud of.”
Mr. Okoye said that necessary arrangements have been made by INEC for the forth coming elections and that the commission would disappoint those waiting to buy votes at the polls.
Ask what strategies have been put in place, in that regard, he said, “The strategies are been kept secret. We will surprise them.”
According to him, two Collation Officers would man each polling unit, with one to collate the presidential election result and move on with it to the Ward level for immediate transmission; while the second collation officer would take responsibility for the collation of the Senatorial and House of Representatives results which would be declared at different level.
The Commissioner disclosed that People living with disabilities, albinism, the elderly and pregnant women would receive special attention at the polling centres.
He also said that voters could vote with any of their fingers, especially given the fact that the space against the parties would be smaller due the their large number.
Mr. Okoye urged political parties to play their roles with a view to making the elections successful.
The Resident Commission in the Federal Capital Territory, Alh. Yahaya Bello urged the media to place premium on national security in their reportage during the elections.
He urged them to avoid sensationalism and fake or unverified reports that could cause violence.