By Tunde Opalana
As evidence of it’s preparedness for the 2023 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC is set to conduct mock accreditation of voters in selected 436 polling units across the country.
National chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu who disclosed this Friday during a meeting with resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) said the mock accreditation is to further authenticate the readiness of the BVAS machines already acquired for the election.
On modality for selection of the 436 polling units, Yakubu said “twelve polling units have been designated in each State of the Federation and four in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the equality of the country’s 109 Senatorial Districts for the exercise. A comprehensive list of the polling units, including their names and PU Code numbers, as well as their distribution by State, Senatorial District, Local Government and Registration Area (Ward) will be uploaded to the Commission’s website.”
He said the mock accreditation of voters would be similar to what was done ahead of the recent Ekiti and Osun State Governorship elections.
The Commission has therefore, appealed to the registered voters in the affected polling units to appear on the scheduled date with their PVCs for the mock exercise. Doing so will help to reassure the public of the robustness of our system and to strengthen our processes ahead of the General Election. Also, Civil society organisations, the media and the general public are advised to observe the process. At the end of the exercise, the 436 BVAS machines involved will be reconfigured before they are deployed for the General Election, he added.
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According to him, “As of yesterday Thursday 26th January 2023, 839,720 PVCs have been collected representing 89.3% of the total figure. ***This meeting with RECs will consider reports from other States of the Federation and the Commission will not hesitate to consider additional measures to ensure that all citizens have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the General Election. We wish to assure Nigerians that the Commission will always be responsive to the needs of the electorate.
“As you are already aware, the Commission has taken delivery of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines for the election. We have also dutifully tested each machine in our offices nationwide to ensure its functionality. The next step is to conduct field tests across the country involving actual voters.
“I am glad to report that movement of materials for the election to various locations nationwide is being concluded. Training of officials will commence shortly. Ongoing consultations with stakeholders will be intensified. Airlifting and delivery of sensitive materials to States of the Federation has gone far. Accreditation of national and international observers and the media is being finalised”, he said.
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