The Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria (INEC) has insisted that the military and other securities agents that would be deployed during the elections will not be within the polling unit area.
- The chairman of the commission addressed a meeting of stakeholders and the press on Monday
- He said the military or other security agents will stay 300 metres away from polling units
- He said that the card reader was introduced for four basic reasons
- He assured Nigerians that the INEC will conduct free and fair elections
At a meeting with stakeholders and the media on Monday, the chairman of the INEC Professor Attahiru Jega, clarified the role of the military during the elections.
Professor Jega, said there would be no soldiers at the polling unit.
“We’ve never had armed military men in elections.
“The army is not supposed to be visible at any polling unit.
“They will stay 300 metres away to cordon the place. Even further away, we will have the army manning checkpoints,” the head of the electoral body said.
Cloned cards cannot be used
Professor Jega explained that the military would guard the outer cordon around in different states to minimise movement while unarmed policemen would be at the polling units
He further urged Nigerians to be confident in the process, explaining that cloned cards cannot be used.
According to him, the card readers would not read cloned cards.
“Card readers will be configured according to polling units. You can only vote where you registered.
“If we do not use the card readers, we will lose in many fundamental respects,” Jega says
Card reader objectives
On why the INEC is insisting on the use of the card reader, he said that the use of the technology had four major objectives.
“The card readers will be used to audit the electorate for future elections, eliminating the stress of accreditation and also help to provide statistical information on demographic immediately after the elections.”
He, however, said that the commission would not have the time or resources to organise elections for all Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria.
“All IDPs in the 3 NE States will be able to vote.
“We’ve found suitable locations in and out of IDP camps for easy access and participation in the elections.
“After 2015 elections, we will fine tune IDP strategy because of people displaced by flood, security and others,” he explained.
To further increase the confidence of Nigerians in the process, the INEC boss said the commission would sanction officials who collect bribe before distributing the cards.
He further reassured the commission’s commitment to doing everything possible to make sure that every registered Nigerian gets their PVCs.