Electoral commission promises free, fair election on November 18
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured the electorate and aspirants of a level-playing field.Speaking yesterday in Awka during the Election Management System (EMS) Implementer workshop organised by the commission, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, gave the assurance to hold a free and fair election.
According to him, the EMS was a critical tool required to effectively manage field assets, resources, constituencies and chains of electoral activities during elections.
He said: “The commission had put in place all necessary machinery to ensure the electorate cast their votes in an environment devoid of any form of hostility.
“Our commitment is to go beyond just offering free, fair and credible election. That is guaranteed. What now needed to be added is to make elections enjoyable.
“People need to move around freely and comfortably and to cast their votes without any molestation or harassment, and that their votes must count.“If you tell them that election would commence at 8:00 a.m. and end by 5:00 p.m., you must be sure to keep to the time. You must also guarantee early arrival of both officials and necessary materials.“These are some of the major challenges that make voters reluctant to exercise their franchise which we are committed to addressing.”
He recalled that previous exercises had been characterised by voter apathy owing to ugly experiences encountered before, during and after the polls.
Orji said 400,000 ad-hoc staff would be redeployed from other states for the exercise, adding that majority of them, including security agencies, had undergone training.
He further disclosed that the over 6,200 card readers needed for the election had been tested and were working while the configuration of the cards would take four days to complete.
The National Commissioner for South East, Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu, represented by the Technical Adviser to INEC Chairman, Professor Bolade Eyinla, urged the participants to take the training seriously, describing their role in the exercise as critical in determining its outcome.
Also speaking, the Project Manager of the European Centre for Election Support, David Le Notre, promised continued support for elections to ensure good governance in the country.
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