Ahead of Saturday’s presidential poll, an election observer group, YIAGA AFRICA said it has deployed its team across the 774 local government areas to assess the readiness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to conduct a credible polls.
Its Executive Director, Samson Itodo, while addressing journalists on the postponement of the presidential election yesterday, in Abuja, explained that from YIAGA’s findings, INEC seems ready to change the negative perception because the electoral umpire shares information with stakeholders through daily briefings with critical stakeholders.
Itodo added that INEC should maintain the tempo of constantly briefing the public throughout the plebiscite, and to replicate it across the states; thereby calling on Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) not to hoard information from the public.
He, also, raised concerns with report of shortfalls in sensitive and non-sensitive materials like results sheets, stamps and indelible ink, reported cases of mistakes in the deployment of materials to some states.
He suggested that for INEC to nip the snag in the bud, “it needs to ensure a comprehensive open and inclusive audit of retrieved materials. Where materials have been wrongly deployed to states, INEC should that those materials are redeployed.
“INEC should engage local vendors to print materials to address reported cases of shortfalls. INEC must ensure a high degree of transparency at all levels,” he noted.
Meanwhile, YIAGA’s Project Manager, Cynthia Mbamalu, disclosed that the group took up the pains to probe INEC’s preparedness to forestall cancellation of elections.
Mbamalu, who believed that the elections would be hitch-free, called on the Federal Government to provide security for election observers.