INEC Flag Off Activities for Anambra Governorship Election

INEC Flag Off Activities for Anambra Governorship Election

Election umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has flagged off electoral activities that will culminate in the election of the next Anambra state governor on November 6, 2021. From Thursday, June 10, 2021, political parties interested in fielding candidates for the election can commence holding their primaries which could be direct or indirect. INEC’s

Election umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has flagged off electoral activities that will culminate in the election of the next Anambra state governor on November 6, 2021. From Thursday, June 10, 2021, political parties interested in fielding candidates for the election can commence holding their primaries which could be direct or indirect.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman Information Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, in a statement confirmed that letters have been written to political parties on the time-table for the election as well as the rules and regulations guiding the election. His statement reads:

“Based on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released by the Commission, the Anambra State Governorship election will take place on 6th November 2021. To this end, Political Parties that have indicated interest in nominating candidates for the election shall conduct their primaries for the nomination of candidates between 10th June and 1st July 2021,

“The Commission, as part of its statutory oversight responsibilities, has written to all the political parties that indicated interest in conducting party primaries and sponsoring candidates for the election on their responsibilities and obligations.

“Political parties seeking to nominate candidates must hold direct or indirect primaries and the aspirant with the highest number of votes at the end of voting shall be declared the winner of the primaries and the aspirant’s name forwarded to the Commission as the candidate of the Party.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Sec. 4.5(1) and (2) of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Political Party primaries requires political parties holding direct primaries to make the list of their members available for inspection by monitors from the Commission as well as their aspirants and party members.

For parties that opt for indirect primaries, the list of delegates must be made available to the Commission as well as aspirants at least 7 days before the conduct of primaries.

“Similarly, Sec. 9(1) and (2) of the same Regulations and Guidelines require political parties to make available to the Commission the list of aspirants seeking nomination to contest for elective offices as well as the list of members of the election committee of the party conducting the primaries.”

Aspirants on the platform of different political parties have started canvassing for the support of their members to be elected as picked as their party’s candidate. The incumbent governor of the state belongs to APGA. The election is expected to be a three-horse raise between APGA, PDP and the APC based on antecedents.

It is expected that INEC will improve on its Edo governorship election standard in the Anambra election. In the Edo election, INEC started the uploading of polling units results and Nigerians expect further innovations in the November 6, Anambra election.

Continuous Voter Registration Exercise (CVR) Recommences June 28, 2021

Meanwhile, INEC has announced that it will recommence the Continuous Voter Registration Exercise on Monday June 28 by deploying new Voter Registration Equipment.

Speaking on this development recently, Chairman INEC Professor Mahmood Yakubu who gave reasons for the delay in the commencement of the CVR, said “the Commission is building a new online registration portal that would enable new registrants to commence registration online and subsequently complete the capture of their biometric data at designated registration centres. This is designed to reduce crowding. Through the online portal, they can schedule their visits to the registration centres to suit their convenience.

“Above all, a CVR Locator is integrated into the new portal which will enable online registrants to locate the nearest registration centre available to them to complete their registration. Previously, registered voters who wished to transfer their voting locations, apply for replacement of their PVCs or correct their personal information had to appear physically at the registration centres. The development of this portal, which is being done in-house by our engineers, has taken a little more time to complete than the Commission anticipated”.

The second reason advanced by Professor Yakubu, is the Commission’s determination to expand voter access to Polling Units. His words, “recently the Commission embarked on a nationwide engagement with Nigerians in which we raised the fundamental issue of declining voter access to Polling Units across the country. The engagement clearly demonstrated that the existing Polling Units are inadequate. They were initially designed to cater for a projected 50 million voters but presently serve over 84 million voters”.

He continued “in addition, many of the Polling Units are inaccessible to voters, especially Persons with Disability (PWDs), and are not conducive to implementing the Commission’s election regulations, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are glad that most Nigerians agree with the Commission on this issue, and we have commenced a far-reaching programme of converting Voting Points and Voting Point Settlements into full-fledged Polling Units and relocating poorly situated Polling Units to better locations. The Commission needs more time to complete this exercise, so that the new Polling Units will be available for registrants to choose during the CVR exercise”.

The final reason for the delayed recommencement of the CVR according to the INEC Chairman is the introduction of new registration technology, which requires time for development and procurement of hardware. He said “the Commission has decided to introduce a new voter registration equipment and technology. The present generation of voter registration equipment, which the Commission introduced in 2011, is the Direct Data Capture Machine (DDCM). This is based on a laptop and a series of peripherals connected to it. In addition, it includes large powerpacks to power the laptops in the field”.

He noted, “while the DDCMs have served the Commission well over the last 10 years, we believe that there are now more compact registration devices that will better serve Nigerians during the CVR exercise. The Commission is therefore migrating to the INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED), which is based on an Android tablet.
“The procurement of the new devices, the modification of the registration software by our in-house engineers to make it compatible with the Android Operating System, as well as integrating these with the online registration portal require a little more time. For instance, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our partners abroad who manufacture the IVED hardware, are not operating at full capacity and the pandemic has also made the supply chain and delivery much slower”.

Speaking further on the date for the recommencement the exercise, the INEC Chairman said “in consideration of these challenges and the measures we have taken to overcome them, the Commission is now in a position to announce Monday 28th June 2021 as the date for the recommencement of the CVR exercise nationwide.

Ayo Aluko-Olokun

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