Election observers, APGA, UPP commend timely distribution of materials

Some Election Observers, APGA and UPP, who monitored the deployment of materials by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra, have commended the commission for the timely and transparent manner of exercise.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Awka on Friday that the distribution had so far been credible.

Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, the Chairman, Partners for Electoral Reform, said “in the distribution of materials, this is the first election that INEC was on time in terms of pushing out both sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the different local government areas.

“In Oyi Local Government Area for instance, INEC officials were ready early enough that they had to wait for some party agents before distributing the sensitive materials.
“Almost all the places we visited, materials were already on ground,” he said.

Nwagwu, however, expressed concern over ploy to substitute trained ad hoc staff with untrained people, especially in Ontisha North Local Government Area.

He urged the commission to guard against such ploy which was raised by concerned parties in the election in order not to jeopardise the credibility of the entire exercise.

Also, Mr Samson Itodo, the Executive Director of Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), noted that election materials all left accompanied by security officials.
“Our observers on the field confirmed that in most local government areas materials arrived and are being sorted and distributed to the registration areas centres where they will be deployed to polling units on Election Day.
“It has been peaceful and transparent but we know that this is a process. We must follow the process and ensure that it results in credible exercise,” he said.
Also, the United Progressives Party (UPP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), had also commended the early deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive materials by INEC from state headquarters to local governments and registration areas.
Chief Chekwas Okorie, National Chairman and Chief Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, National Publicity Secretary of APGA, expressed the satisfaction in separate interviews with NAN in Awka on Friday.
NAN reports that that the INEC Resident Electoral Commission Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, has confirmed the receipt of the materials from the Central Bank (CBN) and subsequently deployed to the councils under tight security.
Okorie said that there was no excuse why the materials should not get to the various polling units in the state before 8.a.m as promised.
“Distribution of sensitive and non-sensitive materials by INEC on Friday is quite proactive and welcome development to us.
“With what has happened so far, there should not be reason why these materials should arrive later than 8 a.m on Saturday as promised,” he said.
The UPP chairman said INEC should forestall every factor that could frustrate effective deployment of voting materials to any voting point in any area.
He said such development could cause crisis as candidates and parties that felt they had strength in those places could view it as attempt to rig them out.

“Any such attempt would raise dust, especially those who felt they have strong base those areas.

“These are the things that can result in rigging, manipulation, postponing of election in those places,” he said.

The chieftain expressed satisfaction with the heavy deployment of security personnel to the state for the election, adding that they should not be used to subvert the process.
“There is enough security and the police have assured us of the protection of the electorate but it is our hope that they will not be used for the wrong reasons.
“We are not going to sleep because of that, the vigilant eyes of our people are open, and since police has said everybody is free to snap photo with their phones, we are going to follow them very closely,” he said.
On his part, Obi-Okoye said it was early to express reservation of any sort in the election.
The APGA Publicity Secretary, said INEC should ensure that the sensitive materials, including the ballot papers and result sheets should be at the polling units before 8 a.m.
“We are satisfied with what is going on so far,” he said. (NAN)

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