By Oginyi Rith
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said over 3000 Smart Card Readers (SCRs) would be deploy for this Saturday’s rescheduled 2019 general elections in Ebonyi State.
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in charge of the state, Prof Godswill Obioma stated this when INEC and party state agents visited the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to recheck of election items that were kept at the volt of the apex bank .
He maintained that the objective was to know if the items were complete or whether there were short falls in order to report to the INEC Headquarters in Abuja for quick intervention.
The REC made this known in Abakaliki on Wednesday while interacting with journalists .
He said that arrangements has been concluded for the conduct of the rescheduled presidential and national assembly elections.
According to him, all sensitive materials for the election were still in the volt of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ebonyi branch where they were being sorted and batched for movement to the the various Registration Area Camps (RACs).
He said that the sorting and batching exercise at the CBN were being done under heavy security presence and monitoring by the accredidated state party agents of all the registered political parties in Ebonyi.
He further explained that the commission has ensured that vehicles for use in movement of election officials and materials were fitted with tracking devices to enable it monitor movement of the vehicles.
His words,”We have 3,288 smart card readers already reconfigured, charged and ready for deployment to the local government areas in readiness for the presidential and national elections.
“The card readers were originally configured with Feb 16 and March 2 dates but the recheduling affected the configuration hence the need to reconfigure.
“Here in Ebonyi, we have put the card readers in batches according to local government areas, charged the batteries and have ensured that all the machines are in proper working condition.
“Sorting and batching of all sensitive materials local government by local government are going on at the Abakaliki branch of the CBN under heavy security watch and supervision of accredidated party state agents.
“All sensitive materials are sealed and we have ensured that we maintain high level of transparency, credibility and openness in every level of our engagement process “, Obioma said.
Some state agent of the political parties including the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his People’s Democratic Party (PDP), counterpart have commended INEC for transparency, credibility and openness in handling the distribution of the elections sensitive materials.
Chief Edwin Okeh and Mr Ali Odefa who spoke to newsmen in separate interviews at the CBN described the process as impeccable though tedious and analogue.
According to them, the commission is involving all parties at every state of the sorting, batching and distribution of the sensitive election materials.
“INEC in Ebonyi has shown that it is capable of conducting credible and transparent elections in the state, we are impressed at the openness, transparency and credibility of the distribution process of the sensitive election materials “, they said.