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INEC Assures Observer Group of Support

….As Commission deploys Non-sensitive materials

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Watching The Vote team of the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) and every other election observer group of its maximum support at the upcoming November 18, Governorship Election in Anambra state.

This was revealed on Wednesday by INEC Head of Voter Education in the state, Barrister Owette Emmanuel during a training Organized by the YIAGA for its Watching The Vote (WTV) team and trainers in preparation to observe the November 18 polls.

INEC Head of Voter Education with WTV team members

YIAGA’s Watching The Vote has recruited 500 polling unit observers who will be trained to observe the November 18 elections while also deploying 27 mobile observers across all the 21 local Government Areas in the state to supervise stationary polling units observers and report critical incident. Also, the WTV Anambra Data Centre will be opened on 13th, November, 2017 at Finotel Classique Hotel, Agwu-Awka where journalists, election stakeholders and the general public can all have access to information received from observers on the field.

INEC also revealed that it has over two million registered voters in Anambra state according to an updated voter register of the state, as the commission reiterates its readiness for the November 18 Governorship elections. According to the commission, the voter register in Anambra state has a total of two million, one hundred and fifty-eight thousand, one hundred and seventy-one voters (2,158,171) voters in the state.

While addressing the WTV team and trainers in Anambra, Barrister Emmanuel said all political parties contesting the Anambra Governorship polls have been publicly presented with the document containing all the registered voters in the state. This he described as the height of transparency by the Commission. Also, he said the voters will be spread across 4608 polling units and 731 Voting points. According to him, voting points are created if the total number of registered voters in a polling Unit is above 750 registered voters to avoid a crowded polling units and delay in voting.

He also said, non-sensitive materials have been deployed to all the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state. While reiterating the commission’s readiness for the elections, Barrister Emmanuel said, INEC has simplified the election process by creating Registration Area Centre (RACS) in various wards which are not far from Polling Units. This according to him, will eliminate the late arrival of election personnel and materials to the polling Units.

During the training, he also said that, INEC is putting finishing touches on its preparation for the November 18 polls with several voter education programs across communities using various medium of communication like Radio jingles. “Enough sensitization has been done on how to vote right. If Voters vote rightly, rejected votes will not much” he said.

Similarly, he said Persons With Disability (PWDs) will be given special consideration to prevent them from going through the rigors of queueing for accreditation and voting. He also emphasized the security of voters as he said adequate security personnel will be deployed while urging citizens to stay out of trouble.

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#WatchingTheVote is a citizen led election observation initiative aimed at enhancing the integrity of elections in Nigeria using technological tools like sms and evidence-based research methodology tools for election observation.

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