The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will commence conduct of elections in the newly created Polling Units (PUs) with the Nov. 6 governorship election in Anambra.
Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information, Voter Education and Publicity of INEC disclosed this during an “Implementation Meeting on Voter Enlightenment and Publicity” for the 2021 Anambra governorship election on Tuesday in Awka.
“As some of you are aware, the new polling units created by the commission will come into force during the Anambra governorship election,” he said.
Okoye said the commission was deeply saddened when the premises of its Anambra head office was set ablaze by unidentified hoodlums not too long ago, destroying buildings, equipment and utility vehicles.
“We have substantially recovered from the inferno as the commission is not permitted to wallow in self-pity in the face of a governorship election whose timeline is constitutionally circumscribed and cast in stone,” he said.
Okoye said the commission placed high premium on deployment of technology in the conduct of elections.
“There is no doubt that the deployment of technology in the delivery of over 26 bye- elections since the 2019 general elections, remarkably reduced the impact of human interferences in the outcome of the elections.
“The commission was able to show a clear capacity to deliver credible election, ensuring especially that results from polling units are not tampered with and that they reflect the will of the voters,” he said.
He said INEC would deploy additional staff and materials to Anambra in the next few weeks to accelerate the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise.
According to him, political parties will commence campaigns on Aug. 8 and it’s important for the parties to bear in mind that the country is still within the web of a global health emergency.
“Political parties and candidates are required to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols contained in the statement released by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 on July 30.
“Political campaigns or slogans shall not be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly, that may likely injure religious, ethnic, tribal or sectional feelings.
“Political parties are reminded that places designated for religious worship, police stations and public offices shall not be used for political campaigns, rallies and processions,” he said.
Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra commended critical stakeholders at the meeting for their contributions.
Mrs Yetunde Baderinwa, state Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps, assured INEC that more than 2, 000 serving corps members in the state were in high spirits to participate in the conduct of the election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by media practitioners and INEC Local Government Area Electoral Officers among others. (NAN)