By Francis Onyeukwu
Awka, Feb. 20, 2019 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced the distribution of sensitive materials for the conduct of Feb. 23 presidential and national assembly elections.
Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, INEC Resident Electoral Officer in Anambra, who supervised the exercise, said it was a repeat of what was done on Thursday, Feb. 14.
Orji said that the commission had received replacement for all card readers damaged by the fire which burnt INEC office storage facility on Feb. 12.
”On Tuesday, Feb. 12, fire incident affected INEC storage facility where smart card readers for 17 Local Government Areas were packed.
“Shortly after the fire was put out, we activated emergency recovery for card readers across the country and it was a successful exercise in that that evening, we started getting replacement for the card readers.
”By the next day being Feb. 13, we received card readers from 12 states and by Thursday of that week, we have completed configuration of all the card readers,’’ he said.
Orji said one implication of the fire incident was that INEC’s target of having more than 6,000 card readers would no longer be achieved.
”Our target was that of the 5,720 polling units, we will have extra two card readers for each ward, but with the fire incident we cannot meet that target.
”What we presently have is a total of 5,173 card readers which can cover a total of 4,608 polling units across the state with extra 264 card readers left,’’ he said.
He told party representatives, security personnel and media representatives at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Awka Office, that sensitive materials for the Feb. 23 exercise were complete.
He noted that logistics for conveying the materials to the 21 local government areas, including security guards, had been arranged.
Orji said INEC was ready to oblige any party willing to cross-check the materials and gave an assurance that the materials were intact.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that INEC Electoral Officer for Anambra East was the first to take delivery of the sensitive materials from CBN, Awka, at about 11.43 a.m., accompanied by security personnel.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Nkechi Okoronkwo