The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called on political parties to carry out responsible campaigns ahead of the Anambra state governorship election.
The call was made by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, while speaking with newscasters, Monday in Abuja.
He said parties should seek clarification from the Commission on national security matters, as it will ensure it delivers its mandate of credible polls.
The chairman added that political parties should carry out responsible campaigns by safety regulations considering the security situation in the country.
He stressed the need for multi stakeholders’ venture, which is necessary for a good election, and called on stakeholders to cooperate with the Commission.
“The Commission is working assiduously to get its facilities and processes ready for the election.
“The Commission has completed the first phase of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in Anambra, wherein, it devolved to the 326 Registration Areas as well as the 21 local government offices and the state office.
“The Commission is finalizing arrangements to deploy its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to Anambra, and various enlightenment and voter education programmes are ongoing in the state.
“The Commission is also moving fast to rebuild its Anambra collation center, storage facilities and office buildings and facilities burnt or damaged by arsonists,” Okoye added.
Recalling the Commission’s comment, he said INEC had delivered over 50 per cent of the non-sensitive materials required for the election to the Anambra office before its facility was attacked.
He added that all the materials already delivered, including 326 generating sets retrieved from all the Registration Areas and seven utility vehicles for electoral operations, were destroyed during the attack.
“We are encouraged that contractors are now working day and night to get the facilities ready for the election.
“The procurement of materials for elections and other electoral purposes goes through the public procurement process.
“Some of these materials are stored in the zonal stores of the Commission as some of them like ballot boxes and cubicles are reusable,” he said.
He added that INEC had started on September 9 of gunmen’s extensive attack in its Awka office.
He added that the Commission is making efforts to rebuild the physical facilities; it has also taken a practical decision to distribute the non-sensitive materials replaced from its South-East zonal stores in Owerri to meet deadlines.
“The non-sensitive materials includes non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 items, such as hand sanitizers and face masks, envelopes, posters, stickers, sellotapes, scissors, liquid gum and other stationery items required mainly at the polling units,” Okoye said.
He, however, noted that following a review of the deadline of the repair work on the facilities, the Commission was optimistic that it would be completed by the end of the month.
“The Commission will, therefore, batch and distribute all non-sensitive materials from its Anambra State office in Awka, while the sensitive materials will be delivered directly to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office in Awka.
“All the Political parties participating in the election will be invited to inspect the materials before distribution,” Okoye said.