INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has hinted that in spite of the sheer number of presidential candidates, size of the result sheets and increased voter population, the result of the 2019 presidential election will be released on time just as that of the 2015 elections, he disclosed this Wednesday in Abuja while briefing journalists on the state of preparedness of the commission for the polls.
“At yesterday’s briefing, we reported that we achieved 95% configuration of the Smart Card Readers SCR nationwide. The Card Readers were introduced in the 2015 general elections to facilitate the accreditation of voters using the PVCs. They are configured to specific polling units and only open for use at 8am on Election Day. They automatically shut down by 10 pm in order to forestall any illegal use before the appointed time of elections. I am pleased to report that we have now achieved 100% completion of the configuration. We are good to go on this score.
“Similarly, I briefed you yesterday that our State offices had commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the Central Bank of Nigeria to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week and to witness the batching of materials according to Local Government Areas (LGAs). Reports from the States indicate full compliance.
“I briefed you yesterday that having moved the sensitive materials to the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the forward deployment to the 774 LGAs nationwide will commence today Wednesday 20thFebruary 2019 and be concluded tomorrow Thursday 21stFebruary 2019. Already, Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Osun, Ogun, Oyo and Taraba States have commenced the movement of materials to LGAs today. Other States will do so and conclude tomorrow. We will give a full rendition of movement to LGAs across all States of the Federation tomorrow.
“We have been making good progress on logistics. Similarly, all other arrangements for the movement of personnel from the LGAs to the Wards are on course. We will fully brief you tomorrow at 3pm.”
Professor Yakubu said the commission was working to ensure that it does not keep Nigerians waiting for days without declaring the results, saying the time limit would not exceed what obtained in 2015.
“Even though this time around we have more presidential candidates than in 2015, we have more registered voters than we had in 2015, the size of the result sheet is bigger than we had in 2015, but we are committed to concluding the process for the Presidential elections roughly about the same time that we concluded the 2015 general elections. We will do whatever we can to ensure that we speedily conclude the process but we won’t sacrifice accuracy for speed.”