Delta suffers delay as INEC distributes electoral materials in Cross River
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Cross River State has commenced distribution of sensitive materials to 18 councils of Cross River State for the Saturday presidential and National Assembly elections.
The distribution began, yesterday, from the INEC office in Calabar with the loading of Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines. Result sheets and ballot papers were collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) state branch for distribution.
This is as Delta State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Rev. Monday Udoh-Tom, said the commission in the state has not received non-sensitive materials for the House of Representatives election.
Representatives of 12 political parties in Rivers State and Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) were present to witness the distribution of the materials.
The REC, who led The Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in Cross River State (ICCES), Prof. Gabriel Yomere, said the exercise was to show transparency of the process in the distribution of sensitive materials for the presidential and National Assembly elections.
He said: “Today is a very special day for INEC. We are going to move from here to the Central Bank for the sensitive materials. We have invited parties so they will not nurture the impression that some deals have been done in the process of handling these sensitive materials.
“Let me state here, if you look at the BVAS, they are no more in packs in which they were brought in and the explanation is very simple: the BVAS came here completely empty. We have to configure them; we have to charge them so that the BVAS will be 100 per cent ready. They are configured to the 3,231polling units where they will be used.”
Political parties present at the distribution of the materials expressed satisfaction with the distribution process, describing it as transparent and urged election management body to sustain transparency in the conduct of the general elections.
In Asaba, the REC, Udoh-Tom, said that following the non-availability of non-sensitive materials for Reps, INEC could not commence the distribution of other non-sensitive materials for the presidential and Senate elections.
The commissioner, top INEC officials, party stakeholders and journalists, who were at the Asaba branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), along Maryam Babangida Way, Asaba, were disappointed when the commissioner announced that the non-sensitive materials for House of Representatives are still being awaited, ahead of Saturday elections.