Okon Bassey in Uyo
Having identified poor and lack of ICT equipment as some of the short comings in the conduct of elections in the country, the Akwa Ibom Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) is to equip 31 local government area offices with ICT facilities. The chairman of AKISIEC, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak disclosed this while inspecting facilities at four area offices of the commission in Uyo federal constituency.
He said the need for the ICT facilities to be in place ahead of the conduct of the local government elections in the state. The polls fixed for December 2, 2017 will be for the election of chairmen and councillors in the 31 local government areas of the state using 3,000 polling units in 329 wards. No fewer than 10,000 ad hoc staff are to be deployed by the commission in the conduct of the forthcoming local government elections in the state. Ikoiwak accompanied by all his commissioners and management team had visited area offices in Nsit Atai, Ibesikpo/Asutan, Uruan and Uyo Local Government Areas. The provision of the ICT facilities, he observed would assist the area offices in processing, storage and retrieval of essential electoral information. The AKISIEC boss maintained that the tour of area offices was necessary to assess the state of facilities, staff readiness and availability of materials for the December local government elections in the state. “We decided to embark on this assessment tour to see things for ourselves in view of the local government elections coming up in December. “We also needed to crosscheck the items requested by the electoral officers with what they have in stock”, he declared.
Ikoiwak, who said that he was satisfied with the state of the area offices visited so far, however observed that some of the offices needed generating sets to guarantee electricity during elections. The tour of the local government offices, the AKISIEC chairman said also afforded the board members and management staff the opportunity to interact with the commission’s staff at the local government levels. He advised the electoral officers to sensitize the people in their respective local government areas on the forthcoming local government elections. Ikoiwak called on the electoral officers to draw up programmes of enlightenment for the local council authorities and the different stakeholders like security agents and personnel of National Orientation Agency. AKISIEC boss advised all the ad hoc staff interested in the conduct of the election to apply at the local government area offices of their residence. He said that the commission had not made any provision for online application and as such applicants should beware of online scam.