Displaying items by tag: Anambra Decides2021
The voters at Ward 9 Ezimezi in Amawbia, in the Awka South Local of Anambra State, have protested the ‘No facemask, No voting’ instruction by the presiding officer, Ahmed Abdilahi.
The voters who trooped out around 8:30 am to vote were asked to go back and bring their facemasks before they would be allowed to do so. Irked by that, a former Anambra state House of Assembly member, Chikodi Aghanya, described the instruction as ‘rubbish’.
He said, “We can’t take that instruction from you. This is rubbish. How can you ask these old people here to go back to their homes to go and bring facemasks before they will be allowed to vote? If you do that here you will see our true colour.”
Speaking about the situation, the Presiding Officer who is a National Youth Service Corps member said, “That was INEC instruction and we will obey it to the letter. We have hand sanitisers here. We have our facemasks on. They should go and have theirs. It’s a simple instruction they must obey.”
The Presiding Officer further mentioned that they were having network challenges to operate some of their tools.
The Independent National Electoral Commission says it will upload election results from the 5,634 polling units to its result-viewing portal in today’s governorship poll in Anambra State.
It however said collation of results would be done manually as obtained in previous elections and not with the uploaded results.
The commission expressed confidence that the technological approach, designed to enhance transparency in the election management process, would boost people’s confidence in elections and enable Nigerians to view polling unit results in real time as voting ends.
The innovation, introduced in August 2020, was first used by the electoral body in the August 8, 2020 Nasarawa Central State Constituency bye-election and was later deployed in the Edo and Ondo states governorship elections held on September 19 and October 10, 2020, respectively.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said in an interview on Thursday that after the commission converted 1,112 voting points to full-fledged polling units, the total polling units in the state rose to 5,720.
He said 86 polling units would not be used because the commission could not carry out batch transfers because of insecurity and the inability to carry out intensive civic and voter education.
…to deploy bimodal system for voter fingerprints, facial accreditation
Meanwhile, Okoye said the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System newly introduced by the commission would more or less replace the card readers going forward and would be used for voter registration, accreditation and uploading polling unit results to the result-viewing portal.
He said, “BVAS allows us to use one machine for the purposes of voter registration, accreditation – fingerprint and facial authentication – and uploading of polling unit results to our result-viewing portal. So, it’s a three-in-one solution. We are confident that the BVAS will perform well and it will be the dominant means of accreditation going forward.
“The commission will upload polling unit level results to our INEC result-viewing portal. We are confident that our new technological approach to elections will continue to yield results. We have trained all the ad hoc staff that would use the BVAS and the implication is that we have more or less retired the smart card reader as equipment for voter accreditation.”
Okoye said that the BVAS were dispatched to the local government areas since Thursday, adding that if any challenge arose, whether in the voting or logistics, the commission had the capacity to deal with them.
18 candidates vie for 2.5 million votes
No fewer than 18 political parties are participating in the election and they would be jostling for over 2.5 million votes. According to INEC, 2,525,471 registered voters would participate in the election.
It was gathered that 77,475 valid registered voters at the end of the first quarter of the Continuous Voter Registration exercise were added to the state’s voters’ register. This figure was added to the existing register of 2,447,996 eligible voters used for the 2019 general election. Accordingly, the number of registered voters in Anambra State now stands at 2,525,471.
Unlike what obtained in previous election, INEC did not release the number of PVCs collected in the state. It blamed the security situation and the sit-at-home order by the separatist Indigeneous People of Biafra, which prevented residents from free movement, for its inability to fully distribute the PVCs to the owners. Some civil society organisations who are also observers in the election however described this as unacceptable.
Meanwhile, many residents of the state believe that the top contenders in the election are Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party; Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress, Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and Godwin Maduka of Accord Party.
Other candidates are Etiaba Chukwuogo (AA); Nwankwo Chidozie (AAC); Akachukwu Nwankpo (ADC); Ume-Ezeoke Douglas (ADP); Onyejegbu Okwudili (APM) and Azubuike Echetebu (APP).
The rest are Chika Okeke Adibe (BP); Agbasimalo Emmanuel (LP); Ohajimkpo Emeka (NNPP); Ezenwafor Victor (NRM); Nnamdi Nwawuo (PRP); Uzoh Godwin (SDP) and Obiora Okonkwo (ZLP).
INEC procures group life, accident insurance for over 26,000 election workers
The INEC National Commissioner also explained that even though no form of insurance cover could replace a human life, the commission had put in place group life and accident insurance for the over 26,000 permanent and ad hoc staff deployed for the election.
He pointed out that the commission required at least 25,009 ad hoc staff and when added to other categories of staff, it needed at least 26,000 but that there was a slight shortfall due to anxiety in the state.
He however did not disclose the insurance companies that provided the cover.
He stated, “Over 26,000 ad hoc staff will be involved in this election. Staff of the commission will also be involved in the election. The commission has a group life and accident insurance for all the permanent and ad hoc staff that will be deployed for the election.
“We engaged reputable insurance companies for the purpose of providing insurance cover for our staff and critical national assets.
“The security agencies involved in election security remain within the command and control of their various agencies. The Commission only compliments what the security agencies are providing.”
On the safety of corps members, Okoye said the commission had a history of according the welfare and safety of corps members priority, adding, “We have assured them of their safety and their welfare. We will secure the Registration Area Centres. We will secure their lodges. We will protect the polling units and we will leave no stone unturned in protecting them.
“The corps members are determined to serve their nation and we are determined to protect them.”
Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has directed staff participating in the Anambra governorship election to ensure that all votes count.
Yakubu gave the directive on Friday in his message to the commission’s staff.
He said in spite of the challenging situation in the build-up to the election — including attacks on INEC facilities — the commission’s determination to ensure that the election holds as scheduled had remained unshaken.
He reminded the staff that over the next few days, all eyes would be on the commission.
He also said INEC had delivered all sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the election on schedule and deployed election duty staff.
Yakubu also explained that INEC has made logistics arrangements to move personnel and materials to thousands of locations in Anambra where voting and collation of results would take place.
“It is therefore imperative for all of you to ensure that every single vote counts,” he said.
“You must remain true to our commitment that only the voters in Anambra State determine who becomes the next Governor of the State.
“In doing so, you must be guided by the extant laws, our guidelines/regulations and good conscience. You should remain vigilant, principled and committed to the vision and mission of the Commission.”
He added that despite the challenges encountered, INEC had rebuilt its fixed assets and replaced movable facilities.
“We also sought and obtained the support of the security agencies, political parties and candidates and all other stakeholders for a successful exercise,” he said.
“As you are aware, Nigerians expect the Anambra Governorship election to be an improvement on the high standards achieved in recent elections.
That is why we introduced the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for fingerprint and facial biometric authentication of voters. We have trained staff on the new technology.”