Chairman, Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kabiru Gaya, yesterday said that the electoral body was free to transmit the Anambra State governorship election results electronically if it so desires.
Gaya spoke while briefing reporters after the National Assembly Joint Committee on Electoral Matters and INEC met with stakeholders on the November 6, 2021 governorship election.
He said: “It is left for INEC to decide whether it will transfer the election results in Anambra electronically or not. They have done that in the previous elections in Edo and Ondo states.
“Even before INEC started transferring election results from polling units, Nigerians have been monitoring the results the moment they are announced at polling stations and by 4:00 p.m. before the final results are announced, many Nigerians would have seen them on the Internet. Nigerians are fully involved in elections.”
Gaya said that INEC had assured the joint committee that it would go ahead with the Anambra election and declare the winner, despite the prevailing security situation in the state.
“We expect the people of the state to co-operate fully with the electoral body by being law abiding.
“The only way to achieve free, fair and credible election in Anambra is for everybody to eschew violence,” Gaya added.
Earlier in his remarks, the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, said the agency had recovered from the series of attacks by yet-to-be identified persons in Anambra State.
“We have recovered from the series of attacks on our facilities and I am happy to say that we have deployed all the non-sensitive materials to all the local councils. We have trained the requisite number of ad-hoc staff for the election and we have also mobilised members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) for efficient distribution of materials on election day. As far as INEC is concerned, we are good to go on November 6, 2021.”
On the level of distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the state, he said: “We have a little over 81,000 valid registrants that include a little over 5,000 that applied for replacement of cards and intra-state and inter-state transfers.
“As we speak, we are batching the cards. They will leave first thing tomorrow morning for Awka and all the new registrants will get their cards before the elections.
“This time around, with the help of technology, we were able to harvest the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of the registrants.
“So, we will contact each and every one of them and tell them where to pick their cards. But the cards will be delivered to Awka tomorrow.”
He added that INEC would make announcement in the media to ensure that those without telephones and e-mails would be able to collect their cards at the ward level.