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Yakubu assures Nigerians of commission’s readiness for Saturday’s elections


[FILE] INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu

Checkmate Dickson’s activities during exercise, Lokpobiri tells security agencies
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday assured Nigerians of its readiness to conduct the Presidential and National Assembly elections rescheduled for Saturday, February 23, 2019.

It disclosed that it has achieved 100 per cent reconfiguration of the smart card readers (SCRs).Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stated this yesterday at a media briefing, adding that the card readers, which were configured for specific polling units would be deployed between 8am and 10pm on elections day.

Yakubu also said the commission has strengthened security around its information and communication Technology (ICT) facility, which could be attacked because its off-line nature.He explained that as at yesterday, 10 states had already commenced distribution of electoral materials, a process, which would end today to avoid logistics challenges.He added that Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) also yesterday commenced the process of inspecting redeployed electoral materials in the presence of stakeholders to ensure they were intact before deploying them to polling units in their states, as a measure towards building confidence in the electoral process.

The INEC boss said the commission has made good progress on logistics, which was the main reason for the postponement of the polls.On the cost implication of the postponed elections, Yakubu said details would be made available to members of the public when the commission concludes the exercise.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, has charged security agencies to be on the alert to checkmate activities of Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson.He said the security agencies should pay particular attention to Dickson’s penchant for using thugs, violence, votes buying, ballot box snatching and other electoral malpractices.

Lokpobiri in a statement issued by his media aide, George Oji, said Bayelsa people deserve to be given the opportunity to exercise their franchise at the polls under a violent-free atmosphere.“The free reign of terror in Bayelsa State must stop. Dickson has continued to fabricate unfounded and unsubstantiated lies against the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the statement added.

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