The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State has commenced movement of sensitive materials to be used for Governorship and House of Assembly elections to various local government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC took delivery of the sensitive materials (ballot papers and results sheets) from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday.
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The exercise, led by the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje and Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Idowu Owohunwa, was monitored by various stakeholders.
INEC Electoral Officers from the 20 local government areas were on ground to move the materials to their respective local government area offices in the state.
Speaking to newsmen, Agbaje, who noted that INEC was ready to conduct free, fair and credible elections on Saturday, called for cooperation and support of stakeholders.
According to him, the sensitive materials are secured and intact for every stakeholder to see the transparency of the commission.
He noted that the onward distribution of the materials from the councils to the 245 Wards of the state would begin on Thursday.
He said INEC wanted to ensure that materials got to Registration Area Centres (RAC) and Polling Units on time on Friday and Saturday morning respectively.
“We are here again as March 18 approaches for the governorship and house of assembly elections In Lagos state, election will be conducted in 40 constituencies on Saturday.
“And here we are at the CBN to collect our sensitive materials which will be escorted from here by security agencies to all the 20 local government areas of the state,” Agbaje said.
The INEC boss said the exercise was carried out in the full glare of agents of political parties, civil society organisations, observers and the media to show transparency of the commission.
He said the commission was not a political party but committed to making votes count.
He said that all necessary materials would be made available to voters at various polling units in the state.
“We are sure all materials including the result sheets will be made available at the 13, 325 polling units in the state.
“We are going to impress it on our Electoral Officers and our Supervisory Polling Officers (SPOs) to please ensure that all forms get to the various polling units in the state,” he said.
Agbaje said the commission had done its best in terms of preparations to ensure election materials and personnel got to the polling units in time.
He decried that some hoodlums waylaid the movement of materials to polling units in the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly Elections, which.he said also caused some delays especially in Eti-Osa constituency.
Agbaje said the commission had appealed to security agencies to prevent such on Saturday.
“This time around, the commissioner of police has assured us that the situation will be better ,” he added.
According to him, the commission is in constant talk with members of the Inter- Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) to improve on security for the election to be free and fair.
In his remarks, the commissioner of police represented by ACP Sagir Ismail, assured voters and other residents that there would be adequate security personnel to provide security on election day.
He urged residents to go and exercise their franchise without fear.
NAN reports that party agents, security operatives, election observers, and other critical stakeholders were on ground to witness delivery and the distribution of the materials to the 20 LGAs of the state.
Similarly, INEC also commenced the distribution of sensitive materials in Kano and Bauchi states amongst other Nigerian states where the Governorship and State Assembly elections will take place.