The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission was determined to conclude the Nov. 18 Anambra governorship election at first balloting.
Yakubu made this known at a consultative meeting between the commission and the Media on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said “for a very long time, Anambra elections have not been concluded on first ballot but we are sure this time that the election will be concluded at first ballot’’.
He also said that in the history of Anambra elections, it was very unusual that the commission had not been bugged by court cases due to a political party presenting two candidates for an election.
“So far, we have not been served any court injunction or any party bringing two candidates to us. This is very unusual in Anambra state,’’ he said.
Yakubu promised that the commission would conduct free, fair and credible election in the state, saying “the people of Anambra will determine who their next governor will be by Nov. 18’’.
He said that the commission was fully prepared for the election, adding that 6,200 card readers would be deployed for the exercise.
He stated that as at last week, the functionality of 5,200 card readers was tested and that INEC was satisfied with the result.
“The remaining 1,000 smart card readers will be tested this week,’’ Yakubu said.
He said that as part of preparation for the election, no fewer than 90,000 new voters were registered in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration in the state and added to existing number.
He pledged that all newly-registered voters in the state in the first and second quarters of the exercise would get their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) before the election.
“We are looking at latest Oct. 15 to take delivery of printed PVCs for all those who registered in Anambra at the first quarter at the local government level and second quarter at the ward level.
“We want to start distributing at least 30 days before the election so that anybody who has registered can get his or her card before the poll,” the chairman said.
On security, Yakubu said that security agencies led by the Police had assured INEC that they were ready for the election, especially mindful of identified flash points in the state.
Yakubu said that aside the governorship poll, the commission intended to conduct a bye-election in Idemili North state constituency, which became vacant due to the death of the representative, Mr Francis Mmegbuaneze.
He said that the two elections would be conducted simultaneously if the speaker of the state House of Assembly declared the deceased’s seat vacant and communicated same to the commission in time.
“If that is done in good time we will combine the bye-election with the governorship election which will be cheaper and more convenient for us.’’ (NAN)