Rigging during elections by any political party or staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is no longer possible in Nigeria, a top official of the electoral umpire said this yesterday. He also chided those purportedly saying the independence of INEC had been usurped by the presidency, saying the argument could not stand because the electoral empire had in the last three years organized dozens of off- season elections with the opposition parties especially the PDP winning many of them.
The source who dismissed the outcry by the opposition over alleged plans by the ruling APC to rig the 2019 elections in collaboration with INEC said communication technology had given the electorate the power to choose their leaders without undue interference.
He also confirmed that the card reader which ensured credible elections since 2015 would be deployed to the nearly 30,000 polling units across the country in forthcoming elections; a development he said would shield the process from manipulation.
The official also said there was no plan to create additional polling units ahead of 2019 despite the fact that many communities and settlements had outgrown the current number of polling units in the country.
“No polling units will be created before the 2019 elections. If you create polling units, you have to populate them, then it will create confusion and you will have to replace the voters.
“What the commission has resolved to do is to decongest the existing polling units by creating voting points within the same location where voters exceed 500 in a particular point.
“Under the leadership of Prof. Attahiru Jega, the commission conducted an audit of all polling units. Before then, some polling units were located in shrines and different places. But with the audit, we now have 119,973 polling units across the country and there are no more obscure polling units,” the official said.
The official added that this was the time for politicians and political parties to put their acts together; join hands with election officials and improve on the already improved credibility of INEC as shining example in Africa.
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