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Nearly 2,000 ballot boxes destroyed in attacks on facilities: INEC

  • Politics

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says critical facilities and assets were lost in attacks on its facilities across Nigeria.

The INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this at opening a two-day induction retreat for the commission’s Residents Electoral Commissioners (RECS) in Lagos on Wednesday.

“These facilities, including a total of 1,992 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles and 22 electric power generators, and thousands of uncollected PVCs (Permanent Voter Cards), among many other items,” he said.

In his opening remarks, Mr Yakubu said in the last four months, unknown persons attacked five local government offices of the commission.

“These attacks must stop and the perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted. Our responsibility is to conduct elections. The best solution for us is the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators,” the INEC chairman said.

He said the timely arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of attacks on its facilities and assets nationwide would end the trend.

“The ultimate solutions are the arrest and prosecution of the culprits so that vandals and arsonists do not feel that bad behaviour is acceptable in our country. It is really very sad as elections approach.

“However, I want to assure Nigerians that we will recover from these attacks, those materials will be replaced, but there is a limit to our ability to keep replacing lost items with just 86 days to the general elections.”

According to him, the commission will continue to work with the security agencies, traditional and community leaders and all well-meaning Nigerians to stop the attacks.

He said INEC was committed to ensuring that nothing would stop the elections from going ahead as scheduled,” and the will of Nigerian people will prevail. That is what we have been assuring Nigerians about.”

On the retreat, Mr Yakubu said it was part of the preparation for the 2023 general elections.

He said the retreat would also dwell on standard operating procedures for collecting PVCs, guidelines for voters distribution to polling units, a framework for electoral logistics and a code of conduct for the commission’s members, officials and staff.

Mr Yakubu said copies of the code of conduct for members, officials and staff would be made available for all.

Speaking on the rumour that voters could vote without PVC on election day, Mr Yakubu described such as “absolutely incorrect”, saying, “for any person to vote, he or she must be a registered voter, issued with the PVC.”

Commending UNDP for supporting the retreat, Mr Yakubu said that the long-standing partnership with INEC had gone a long way in sustaining the implementing progress being witnessed in the electoral processes.

In his goodwill message, Deryck Fritz, the chief technical advisor, UNDP, urged the RECs to implement the commission’s policies effectively and be proactive frontline problem-solvers.

(NAN) 

Source: Peoples Gazette.

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