The acting Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Amina Zakari, said the commission had begun the production and procurement of materials for the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa States governorship election.
Zakari made this known over the weekend in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, at the opening of a one-day stakeholders’ forum on the elections.
Zakari, who was represented by the Secretary of the commission, Augusta Ogakwu, said training of personnel for the conduct of the polls had also begun.
She said Continuous Voter Registration for persons who just attained 18 and those who missed the last exercise would be conducted before the elections.
She reiterated that only those who had Permanent Voter Cards would be eligible to vote in the elections and urged political parties and other stakeholders to mobilise the people to come out for the exercise.
“The commission will be fair, impartial, transparent and provide a level playing field to all contestants,” Zakari promised.
In his presentation, INEC’s Director of ICT, Chidi Nwafor, said collation of results would be done electronically as part of efforts to enhance the process, adding that the application of e-software system would make collation of results right from the polling units possible.
He said the software was being deployed for the first time in the country.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Halilu Pai, disclosed that 221 units of data-capturing machines had been deployed to the headquarters of the 21 local government areas for voter registration.
Pai also said 42 staff of the commission, who would participate in the exercise, had been trained, adding that card readers would be used for the election.
The REC restated the readiness of INEC to conduct a free and fair election and urged stakeholders in the state to join hands with the commission to achieve a credible poll whose result would be acceptable to all contestants.
The Attah of Igala, Idakwo Ameh Oboni, said democracy remains the best form of government as it gives citizens the best opportunity to secure their freedom from poverty, misrule and corruption.
Oboni urged INEC not to relent in its efforts in bringing sanity to the polity and urged political parties and other stakeholders to partner the electoral umpire in that respect.
While pledging to mobilise his subjects to participate in the continuous voter registration and the election, Oboni advised political parties and their candidates to eschew chaos and money politics.