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