Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said results of the forthcoming elections will be collated and transmitted manually.
It also dismissed as untrue insinuations that it accorded the North undue advantage in the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) by handing over the PVCs to religious and community leaders for distribution to registrants, unlike what obtained in the Southern states.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, who said these, yesterday, explained that the inability of the commission to adopt electronic transmission was because of the non amendment of the electoral laws .
“We are ready for electronic transmission any day the law is amended. For now, we are collating and transmitting manually in accordance with the law,” he said.
Okoye, who spoke at a media interactive session, challenged anybody with information that PVCs were handed over to religious leaders or any other person for distribution by INEC in any state, to come up with evidence. He said INEC will not sweep such infraction under the carpet.
The noted that contrary to claims in some quarters, Abia State came top in distribution of PVCs.
Okoye, who said the commission was prepared to deliver a free, fair and credible election, warned that the body will come hard on ad-hoc staff who collects financial inducements from any source in other to compromise the election.
He said the entitlements of anybody involved in the election would be paid to him or her, but insisted that the commission will not spare anybody who tries to undermine the integrity of the exercise.
“National Assembly approved the entitlements of everybody who will play a role in the election. Nobody will be owed a dime. But, we will come hard on anybody who compromises the integrity of the election,” Okoye warned .
He charged politicians to play by the rule, stressing that the electoral environment would determine the outcome of the election. He expressed disgust over the presence of thugs during campaign rallies of some politicians and parties and said it is a situation the commission cannot help .
As a proof that parties are ready for the election, he charged them to submit the names and specimen of their agents to INEC offices.
He said: “We are ready for a free, fair and credible election, but, parties and politicians must also show they are ready for the election.”