The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Borno state, Mr. Samuel Madaki Usman has said that the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) has overcome the “logistical and technical challenges” of last Presidential and National Assembly elections by prompt distribution of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials
to 312 registration areas of 3, 928 polling units.
Usman spoke Friday at the INEC while briefing newsmen on the preparedness of the commission and its challenges
conduct today’s (Saturday) Gubernatorial and States House of Assembly elections in Borno State. He said the receipt and distribution of ballot papers for the nine southern Borno councils have commenced at the Gombe International Airport for direct onward distribution by the National Union of Road Transport Workers before 8am Saturday.
His words: “After reviewing the challenges of last elections in the state, we realized that the late arrivals of both election materials and Electoral Officers, was however caused by the logistical problems we had with drivers of NURTW, that had dilapidated vehicles and the long distances between our headquarters and registration areas of
Bayo, Shani and other councils that could not be reached in less than an hour or two.”
He added that sensitive materials were retrieved from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last Tuesday for prompt distribution to far away registration areas of Bayo, Shani and Kwaya/Kusar.
He said the collection of ballot papers for distribution at the Gombe airport, has also introduced another innovation, instead of employing the Maiduguri International Airport that is 200-300 kilometres from most of 3, 928 polling units in the state.
“This has overcome our challenges of late arrivals of both election materials and Electoral Officers. The failure of the card readers capture the bio-data of electorate, including their finger prints in the state was the non-removal of screen guards of card readers, before usage at the polling stations by our ad hoc staff,” said Usaman yesterday in Maiduguri. He therefore, directed the electoral officers to use the card readers, during Saturday’s gubernatorial and states house of assembly elections in Borno. Speaking on
step down of nine gubernatorial candidates for Governor Kashim Shettima of All Progressive Congress (APC), he said: “It is belated to make any changes for any candidate for tomorrow’s election. Going by the 2010 Electoral Act (amended), a party or candidate requires 45 days before the election to make a change or drop any candidate to contest elections in the country. We are not honouring them, because this election will hold as scheduled. It is their local arrangement.” (The Guardian)
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