The Commissioner for Information and Voter Education of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Festus Okoye, stated that the commission would discuss the storage of electoral materials with the Central Bank of Nigeria to find a solution.
In June, INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, had stated that sensitive election materials would no longer be “routed” through the apex bank, as the “current circumstances” would require an alternative by the body for its storage solutions.
This comes after the controversy surrounding CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele’s bid for the country’s presidency.
However, Mr Okoye, during his appearance on Sunrise Daily program on Channels Television, cautioned that if INEC doesn’t engage in some sort of dialogue with the CBN on its storage problems for election materials, it will be in for a logistical nightmare.
“It’s going to be a huge logistics nightmare. What we intend to do going forward since there are issues with keeping our materials with CBN,” he said.
“We have not had enough opportunity to sit down with the Central Bank to review the entire issue surrounding moving our material with the Nigerian Air force.
”“We are going to do that. If at the end of the day, we are not satisfied with the arrangement, then we are going to look for a new logistics pathway for how to manage logistics during the 2023 elections. But no decision has been made.
In addition, Okoye stated that the governorship storage measures adopted following the recent elections in Ekiti and Osun would not hold up in the face of the national elections in 2023.
“You cannot use the Ekiti governorship election and Osun governorship election as a measure of what will happen in 2023,” he said.
“This is because, for instance, in the Ekiti governorship election, we had less than a million registered voters.
In the Osun governorship election, we were shy of two million registered voters.
“These are stand-alone elections. For the Ekiti election, we utilised the service of the Nigerian Air force, and they flew the materials into Akure airport. We did the same thing with the Osun election, and we moved the materials to our state offices.
“But for the 2023 general election, we will have over 95 million ballot papers printed for the presidential election. Over 95 million will be printed for the senatorial election; over 95 million papers will be printed for the house of representatives election. Then it goes down.”