The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Friday restated its readiness to upload polling unit results on its INEC Result Viewing portal, noting that it had made arrangements for land and maritime transportation to ensure that voting commences on time.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kogi State, Dr Hale Longpet, at a press briefing in Lokoja, the state capital, said, “I wish to call on our officials, both regular and ad hoc, to demonstrate the highest level of patriotism and professionalism. The choice of who becomes the governor of Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states is entirely in the hands of voters.
“We have delivered all sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the elections. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System has been configured for deployment to polling units as the only means of voter verification and fingerprint/facial biometric authentication of voters. Polling unit results will be uploaded to the INEC Result Viewing portal.”
INEC offices manned
To avert any breakdown of law and order or any attack on INEC facilities, our correspondents observed heavy security presence at INEC offices in the three states.
In Bayelsa State, there was heavy security at the INEC office in Swali, Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state on Friday when one of our correspondents visited. The entrance to the office was cordoned off by heavily armed soldiers as they mounted a blockade with sandbags, while persons entering the facility were subjected to a thorough search.
Also, three police patrol vans and an Armoured Personnel Carrier were stationed at strategic locations leading to the INEC office. Soldiers were seen around the premises while policemen patrolled major streets of Yenagoa and other communities.
The operatives seen in about three vans, with some hooded, drove dangerously through the Swali axis, near the INEC office, to Ekeki, Azikoro and Okaka axis of Yenagoa, as they chanted warning songs.
Less than 24 hours to the election, violence erupted at the Twon-Brass jetty in the Brass Local Government Area of the state. One of our correspondents learnt that supporters of the APC and PDP clashed over where electoral materials meant for the area would be stored ahead of the election.
The officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission deployed in the area were trying to offload the electoral materials when the violence occurred. It could not be confirmed if the electoral materials were sensitive or non-sensitive items.
Some sources alleged that Brass LG PDP chairman, identified as Bara Daniel, was injured in the head during the scuffle that ensued. It took the intervention of some military personnel to restore normalcy.
In Kogi State, there was also heavy security around the INEC office. One of our correspondents observed on Friday the heavy presence of military, police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps personnel in Lokoja, the state capital, as citizens went about their daily activities.
Also in Imo State, armed security men were also seen around INEC offices in Owerri, the state capital, and the commission’s offices in all the local government areas.
A security source asserted that the numerous attacks on INEC offices in the state necessitated the heavy deployment around the commission’s offices.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.