Romanus Ugwu, Abuja and Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, released the final electoral guideline for the 2019 general election, insisting on simultaneous accreditation and voting in modified document.
INEC said the new regulations and guidelines were also for bye-elections, re-run elections and supplementary elections, adding that they took effect on January 10.
The commission further noted that the final guideline had superseded all other regulations and/or guidelines on the conduct of elections, revealing that though it modified some of them, it will not shift ground on the contentious simultaneous voting and accreditation.
The commission also made mandatory, the use of the Smart Card Reader (SCR), use of Tendered Ballot which, insisting that it was consistent with the provision of section 60 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
The modified regulations and guidelines for the conduct of the 2019 general elections was contained in a document released by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
He said: “The regulations and guidelines are issued as a decision extract of the commission on January 10, 2019 and supersedes all other regulations and/or guidelines on the conduct of elections issued by the commission and shall remain in force until replaced by new regulations or amendments supported by a decision extract of the commission or an official gazette. These provisions are designed to strengthen the electoral process and expand access to voters.”
Meanwhile, INEc dispelled fears of insecurity from prospective ad hoc staff ahead of next month’s general elections. Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, who allayed the fears during a meeting with traditional rulers, reiterated there is no need to panic over security challenges as there would be maximum safety for the ad hoc staff.
Orji regretted the difficulty in convincing the ad hoc staff who, he said, would be partly drawn from NYSC members and undergraduates.