A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Sokoto - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has reconfigured over 4 000 Smart Card Readers for use in the April 11 governorship and state house of assembly elections in Sokoto State.
The Head of Voter Education and Publicity Unit of the commission in the state, Alhaji Musa Muhammad, disclosed to newsmen in Sokoto on Wednesday while commenting on the preparations for the polls.
''Over 4 000 card readers were deployed to the state for the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly polls, while 3 518 were actually deployed in the 3,035 polling units across the 23 local governments of the state.”
“The rest were kept as back-ups, while 47 of the 3 518 card readers deployed were changed and the elections took place on March 29 in the affected polling stations.”
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“All the 4 000 card readers had, therefore, been totally reconfigured and they are now being charged, while they are perfectly functional.”
Muhammad said that the management of the commission had also held a meeting with all the electoral officials in the 23 local government areas of the state.
He said that the meeting reviewed the conduct of the March 28 polls, with a view to remedying all the observed lapses.
“No fewer than 20 000 ad hoc staff would conduct the polls, some of those who conducted the last polls and were found wanting in any way were either dropped or redeployed, to ensure their effectiveness.”
“We are ready for the polls in Sokoto State and all the sensitive materials, including the ballot papers, were now being sorted out.”
“We hope to start the distribution of the materials to all the 23 local government Electoral Officers anytime today, Thursday, In Sha Allahu (by the will of God).”
He appealed to the electorate and other stakeholders to remain calm, obey the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the elections.
Muhammad also urged the people of the state to come out en masse on April 11 and peacefully cast their votes.