INEC assures Nigerians that the delivery of election supplies and officials won't be delayed
The Independent National Electoral Commission has told Nigerians that planshave been finalized to guarantee the prompt arrival of supplies and personnel during the presidential and national assembly elections scheduled for next Saturday.
At a media and civil society organizations (CSOs) roundtable on the 2023 elections with the theme "Avoiding landmines, overcoming obstacles, and conducting credible elections" organized by the International Press Centre (IPC) on Wednesday in Abuja, Victor Aluko, the INEC Director for Voter Education, provided the assurance.
The late arrival of supplies during elections in Nigeria typically causes problems, with electoral workers showing up at voting places hours after the elections were supposed to start. The upcoming elections, according to Aluko, will be different, since INEC has made the required logistical preparations to guarantee that polls open early.
"I can tell you that no one will arrive at the voting places late thanks to the system we have in place, the logistics plan, and the fact that we are engaging trustworthy people as electoral officials.
"What we do is activate our racks and move officials there the night before the election so that they may go to voting places within the registration zones very early in the morning. So, we don't foresee a scenario in which they will be late. I can tell you that that won't happen.
Aluko said the commission had visited officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to express its concerns about the shortage of fuel and naira and its potential impact on the elections. He added that he was optimistic that the assurances given by both agencies would be followed by actions.
Additionally, he recommended eligible voters to visit the website to find their polling places in the next general election.
In order to ensure a stress-free voting experience on election day, he said that the commission's decision to shift some allocated voters from busy polling places to less crowded polling places within the same area necessitated the change. For voters to be aware of where they will cast their ballots, the commission has launched "operation know your polling units" via its websites. In order to recruit influential individuals, such as community and political leaders, to sensitize voters, we have also mobilized all of our Local Government Areas (LGA) authorities.
"Also, the order has been sent to all electoral officials that the voter registration will be pasted for eligible voters to validate their names on the register before the first election, which is on February 25.
We have men on the ground from the community and political leaders to raise awareness of and help eligible voters to know their units for polling places that might be a bit distant from where people are voting before. If we combine all of this, I believe we are prepared to act.
"I want to conclude by saying that as a country we should make sure that we do not place any landmines and barriers on the way of our people as they get ready to vote this year."
Samson Itodo, the executive director of YIAGA Africa, spoke out and expressed worry on the most recent court rulings regarding election-related issues.
He claimed that it wouldn't be good for the nation if the populace lost faith and trust in the legal system.
"Considering the courts' most recent ruling, it is really concerning. I want to remind the judiciary that public trust is the foundation of justice. It won't be good for us if the public begins to lose faith and trust in the system, he said. Because they would also require money to go, observers and journalists will be impacted by the naira shortage. Therefore, something needs to be done to guarantee that our coverage is simple. Buhari is currently the monarch of Nigeria, and as such, he should not "play while the Nigerian nation burns," he continued.