By Francis Onyeukwu
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said Nov. 18 governorship election in Anambra would be a test case of flawless electoral conduct by the commission in Nigeria.
Mr Olawale Uzzi, the Director in-charge of Voters’ Education Department, INEC, Abuja made the position of the commission known during Voter Education Providers Implementation Meeting held on Thursday in Awka.
Uzzi said that the commission required a total of 6,200 card reader machines for the conduct of the Anambra election, noting, “out of these number, we have more than 5, 000 machines working optimally’’.
He said before the election all the machines and other arrangements would be completed.
The INEC official said that the meeting was to sensitize stakeholders on their expectations to ensure massive participation of voters and success of the election.
Uzzi, who harped on the imperative of effective participation, said low involvement of voters in an election was a clear indicator that electoral conduct was poor.
He, however, called on the participants, especially the media, to partner with INEC to mobilize, enlighten and educate the masses on the need for them to take part in the election.
Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, the Anambra State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner said the commission was doing everything possible to ensure the people have confidence in the process.
Represented by Mr Charles Mbanaja, the state INEC administrative secretary, Orji appealed to the voters to ensure they take part in the exercise, adding that it would be free, and fair.
Mrs Uloma Osuala, the Deputy Country Director of International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) said that IFES would continue to build the capacity of INEC and other key stakeholders to achieve smooth conduct of Nov.18 poll in the state.
Osuala, who said that IFES had participated in election exercise in more than 150 countries, called on the mass media, civil society oragnisations, security agents and INEC to collaborate for successful election.
Mr Ebenezar Olawale, the State Coordinator of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) commended the effort of INEC in carrying out enlightenment campaigns.
Olawale said NYSC would provide needed support to INEC by allowing willing corps members to serve as ad-hoc staff during the election, saying “we have more than 10, 000 NYSC members, but we are not sure if all of them would be willing to participate’’.
He said his office ws already in contact with NYSC headquarters on possible arrangement to mobilise corps members from neighbouring states to beef up the number required by INEC. (NAN)