Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, yesterday, charged the Commission’s staff to remain neutral and exhibit professionalism in the conduct of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
Yakubu gave the charge in Benin City during a meeting with Electoral Officers (EO) and Heads of Units (HoU) across the 18 Local Governments Areas (LGAs) of the state. He stated that neutrality and professionalism was very important to deliver free, fair and credible election.
“We are not supporting any political party or the candidate and we are not against any political party or the candidate either.
“Our concern is the integrity and transparency of the process. The choice of who becomes the governor of Edo State is entirely in the hands of Edo people and we are going to protect the process,” he said.
Yakubu said the Commission has introduced new innovations in order to deepen transparency in election results management process.
“The innovation commenced with the Nasarawa State constituency by-election,” he noted. He added that the new innovations would enable Nigerians to see the results from polling units on line.
“In addition to the card reader authentication, we going to deploy a tablet with a camera, which after voting has been concluded and ballots sorted out and counted, the picture of the ECFA (result sheet) would be taken and transmitted to a dedicated portal so that Nigerians can view the polling unit results live.
“Four years ago we were here and the lesson we learnt then is to be able to speed up the process and declare the result on time because the longer it takes, the more it becomes problematic to manage. So, we must get logistics right,” h added.
He said the election would be conducted in strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols, adding that INEC was working in collaboration with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to get inferred thermometer.
Earlier, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Johnson Alalibo Sinikiem, said the card readers for the election had been supplied and were being configured. He added that the training of EOs, HoUs and security agents, among others, had been concluded.