By Omeiza Ajayi
It is no longer news that at about 2:43am last Saturday, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC announced the postponement of the 2019 general elections, citing challenges bothering on logistics.
At a meeting with stakeholders later that day, Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu outlined a timeline of activities to be undertaken by the electoral umpire which would culminate into the conduct of the rescheduled elections today.
How far has the commission gone in keeping to this timeline?
- First on the timeline is “Completion/confirmation of deployment of materials by Monday 18th February 2019”. Prof. Yakubu at a media briefing the affirmed that the process had been completed.
“By 4pm yesterday (Monday), all issues relating to the delivery of the materials were identified and virtually addressed. Ballot papers, result sheets and a host of nonsensitive materials are now in location across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory FCT”, he declared.
- The second issue on the timeline is the “Reconfiguration of the Smart Card Readers from Sunday 17th to Thursday 21st February 2019”. This, according to the INEC Chairman had been completed one day ahead of schedule.
“At yesterday’s briefing, we reported that we achieved 95% configuration of the Smart Card Readers SCR nationwide. The Card Readers were introduced in the 2015 general elections to facilitate the accreditation of voters using the PVCs. They are configured to specific polling units and only open for use at 8am on Election Day. They automatically shut down by 10 pm in order to forestall any illegal use before the appointed time of elections. I am pleased to report that we have now achieved 100% completion of the configuration. We are good to go on this score”, he declared.
- The next task was “Receipt and Deployment of sensitive materials to LGAs between Wednesday 20th to Thursday 21st February 2019”. Yakubu said this had been achieved as of Thursday evening and that only in Bayelsa state would the process be completed by Friday, that is, yesterday.
- On the Refresher training for ad hoc staff which was to hold on Thursday 21st February 2019, the commission said that had been carried out.
- Regarding the “Deployment of personnel to Registration Area Centres RACs”, the process began yesterday, Friday 22nd of February 2019 by 9am in accordance with the timeline
Having achieved the above tasks set for itself, the INEC Chairman is highly optimistic that there is no reason the Presidential and National Assembly elections would not go on today as scheduled.