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Ekiti Governorship race: INEC to deploy 3,346 BVAS, 10,269 polling officials

Ekiti Governorship race: INEC to deploy 3,346 BVAS, 10,269 polling officials

The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) on Saturday said it would deploy 3,346 Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and 10,269 polling officials in the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti.

Dr Tella Rahmon, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Ekiti State, disclosed this at the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Dialogue in Abuja.

The session which was organised by the coalition of CSOs, was supported by the United Kingdom Foreign, Common Wealth and Development Office (FCDO) to get an update on the preparation of INEC ahead of the June 18 Ekiti governorship poll.

Rahmon said that the Ekiti governorship election would be conducted in 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) with 988,923 registered voters.

“We have taken delivery of 3,346 BVAS for the election. All the BVAS have been fully charged with backup power bank with standby generators for the exercise.

“We have conducted mock test and all the BVAS worked well and all adhoc staff have been trained on how to use the BVAS.The handling of the BVAS have been well understood by them.

“Therefore, we are not envisaging any lapses from the use of the technology.’’

According to Rahmon, 10,269 polling officials will be deployed based on the 10,455 polling units in the state.

“The figure is analyzed as follows:2,455 presiding officers, one to each Polling Unit (PU), 2,455 Assistant Presiding Officer I (APO I) , then the APO II is 2455, APO III, 20,455 with the total of 9780 officials.

“This is with the five per cent contingency backup which made it 10,269.

“The other categories of personnel are 245 supervisory presiding officers, alongside this, we have 177 registration area collation officers among others.’’

Rahmon said all was set for the conduct of the governorship election, adding that the non-sensitive materials were being deployed already, while the sensitive ones would be distributed on June 16.

He said there were 114 Registration Area Centres (RACs) and all waiting for activation which usually took place on the eve of elections.

He added that all the activation materials had been released to the electoral officers.

He said arrangements had been made with transporters to transfer the materials on election day, adding that all means of convenience had been provided to the ad hoc staff.

He said adequate security measures would be provided at the RACs and super RACs for ad hoc staff and materials, hence violence would be curbed.

Rahmon added that the commission monitored the party primaries and no serious threats to the election were recorded.

“We do not foresee anything going wrong with the election.

“I assure CSOs and Nigerians that we will not disappoint them,’’ he said.

The Convener of the Situation Room, Ene Obi, said that the dialogue was important for many reasons – ranging from the fact that Ekiti had a history of election violence as seen in 2009 and 2021.

“ There were reports of several incidents of political violence and killings, leading to suspension of elections on election day.

“Notwithstanding, the primary elections by political parties ahead of the governorship elections in the state and indeed 2023 general elections had been full of some incidents of violence.

“This is a worrisome trend, ahead of the governorship elections. Secondly, INEC will be deploying the BVAS which will be used in the first major election since it was introduced.

Obi expressed the hope that the BVAS would perform optimally and better than what was seen in Anambra and the FCT elections.

She said that the group also wanted to get an update on the plans for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), security situation among others, ahead of the elections.

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