The Independent National Electoral Commission began the distribution of sensitive materials in states including Lagos, Benue, Ondo, Ekiti, and Osun on Wednesday, ahead of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections.
In addition, as part of the preparations for the elections, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), met with security chiefs on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, where he stated that INEC had no excuse not to conduct successful polls.
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At 10 a.m., the Resident National Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Ayobami Salami, met with security agencies and commission officials in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, before distributing materials to local government areas.
Salami, who spoke at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ado Ekiti branch, venue of the distribution, said early distribution of the materials “is an indication that INEC has put everything in place and we are not leaving everything till the last minute.
“We are to assure Nigerians that we are fully ready for the elections and the materials are ready on time and being distributed on time and will get to locations on time and elections will hold on schedule.
“As you can see, all of our electoral officers from all of the local governments are here with their vehicles to deliver the materials to the various local government areas. That indicates that the logistics issues have been resolved. We now have the money that we need to conduct this election and we have the fuel for the vehicles that will be used,” he said.
The exercise also began in Ondo State, where our correspondent observed sensitive materials being moved from the CBN’s Akure branch to the headquarters of each of the state’s 18 local government areas in the company of heavily armed security agents on Wednesday.
The Acting Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Oyekola Oyelami, commented on the development, saying that the process was smooth and that proper arrangements were made to ensure that the materials reached the council areas.
The exercise was held in Lagos under heavy security presence at the CBN headquarters in Marina, Lagos.
Mr Olusegun Agbaje, the Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, told journalists at the CBN office in Marina that all materials would be distributed to the LGAs on Wednesday, with electoral officers from each council doing the final distributions on election day.
The Benue State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam Egwu, received sensitive materials from the CBN branch in Makurdi.
Terkaa Andyar, the commission’s spokesman in Benue State, said the materials would be delivered to the local government areas on Thursday.
“It is late now, so the commission decided that we are dispatching the materials to nearby local governments, while those further away will receive their materials tomorrow (today),” he explained.
On Wednesday, INEC began delivering election materials and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System to the 18 LGAS in Cross Rivers State.
On Wednesday, our correspondent witnessed the equipment being loaded into trucks at the INEC state headquarters in Calabar.
Political party representatives and security officials were present during the deployment.
Before the materials were distributed, Prof Gabriel Yomere, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, stated that “no big man would be allowed to come out on election day with his orderly.”
The distribution of electoral materials to Nasarawa State’s 13 council areas has also begun.
After inspecting the materials at the CBN’s Lafia branch on Wednesday, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Uthman Ajidagba, told journalists that the commission was ready to conduct a free, fair, and credible election.
He stated that the ballot papers, result sheets, and BVAS machines would be distributed to the state’s 3,245 polling units.
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