Politics

INEC: We’re ready for Anambra election

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, says the commission is unable to remove the names of dead Nigerians from the voter register because of its inability to get adequate data on death.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has assured lawmakers and Nigerians of the commission’s readiness to conduct the Anambra governorship election scheduled for November 6.

Mr Yakubu also said INEC had “recovered” from attacks on its facilities in the South-east region.

He made these comments at a meeting with the joint committee on INEC in Abuja.

His statement comes barely two days after the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, deployed two deputy inspectors-general of police (DIG) and five assistant inspectors-general of police (AIG) to the state to help ensure adequate security for the polls.

Also deployed to the state were 14 commissioners of police, 31 deputy commissioners of police, and 48 assistant commissioners of police.

The deployments were in response to the general apprehension that the election may be disrupted by the pro-Biafra group, IPOB.

Mr Yakubu’s appearance before the panel was sequel to an invitation for a briefing on the Commission’s level of preparedness ahead of the polls amid reports of insecurity in the state.

The Chairman of the committee, Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), had expressed worry over security challenges in the state, which he described as unfortunate.

A free and fair election with easy access to the polling units can only be achieved when the safety of people is assured, he said.

Giving his assurance, the INEC boss disclosed that the commission has concluded 12 of 14 activities preparatory to the election.

Besides recovering from attacks on its facilities, Mr Yakubu said ad-hoc staff have been adequately trained and sensitive materials already deployed.

“We required 14 activities to conduct Anambra Governorship Election successfully and we have accomplished 12 out 14 as well as we have recovered from the attacks on our facilities and I am happy to say that we have deployed all the non-sensitive materials to all the local government areas.

“We have trained the requisite number of adhoc staff for the election and we have also mobilised members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers for efficient distribution of materials on election day. As far as INEC is concerned, we are good to go on November 6, 2021.”

He further said INEC has recorded “a little over 81,000 valid registrants.

“As we speak we are batching the cards. They will leave first thing tomorrow (Thursday) morning for Awka and all the new registrants will get their cards before the elections.

“This time around, with the help of technology, we were able to harvest the telephone numbers and email addresses of the registrants. So we will contact each of them and tell them where to pick their cards. But the cards will be delivered to Awka tomorrow (Thursday).”

He added that announcements will be made in the media for those without telephones and emails to collect their cards at the ward level.

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