The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra State has commenced the distribution of sensitive voting materials in preparation for Saturday’s governorship election.
The distribution commenced on Thursday shortly after the materials were moved out of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office in Awka, the state capital, where they had earlier been deposited.
A SaharaReporters correspondent reported that the representatives of the political parties participating in the election observed the movement of the sensitive materials from the CBN office.
The materials, including ballot papers and result sheets among other important election materials, were guided and transferred to the INEC office on Aroma Road by heavily armed security personnel.
Nkwachukwu Orji, the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in the state, told journalists at a press briefing on Thursday evening that the sensitive materials were thoroughly checked before they were transferred from the CBN to the INEC office in Anambra State.
Mr. Orji explained that after receiving the materials, the electoral commission began its distribution to the various local government areas of the state in preparation for the governorship election billed for Saturday.
“The sensitive materials for the Anambra State governorship election were checked and received from the Central Bank of Nigeria in Awka by the Independent National Electoral Commission at around 10:45 a.m.
“The commission [INEC] commenced the distribution of the sensitive materials at its Anambra State office at about 11:30 a.m. and from the information we received from our monitors, the materials have started arriving at the INEC offices in the local government areas,” he said.
The REC added that INEC, in its strategy to make the distribution easy, clustered the distribution into five different groups based on the distance and terrains of the local government areas in the state.
“Local government areas that are more distant from Awka, those with more difficult terrains and those with large voter populations, received their materials before the others,” he added.
According to Mr. Orji, the commission will cross-check the materials when they arrive at the various local government areas on Friday.
“The election officials and materials are expected to reach the Registration Area Centers (RACs) by 4:00 p.m. on the same day, from where they will be deployed to the polling units on November 18, 2017,” he said.
Mr. Orji further assured that INEC was fully prepared to conduct a transparent and credible governorship election on Saturday in Anambra State.
He tasked the electorates in the state to be wary of unscrupulous politicians and agitators who are bent on fomenting trouble during and after the weekend poll.
Our correspondent monitoring the election observed that security personnel have been deployed to strategic points in Anambra State following threats from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to disturb the peace in the state in order to prevent the conduct of the election.
No fewer than thirty-five political parties will be participating in Saturday’s gubernatorial race.