- You must guarantee credible polls, German govt tells commission
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Thursday released the steps a voter would take to cast their vote on Election Day during the general elections, starting with the presidential and National Assembly polls on February 16.
This is as the German government urged the commission to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the polls.
The electoral body enumerated seven steps, itemising them on its verified Twitter handle, @inecnigeria as follows:
Step 1: Upon arrival at the polling unit, join the queue and present yourself to the INEC official (APO111) at the polling unit who will determine whether you are at the correct polling unit and check if the photograph on the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) matches your face. If satisfied, he/she will direct you to the next INEC official (APO1).
Step 2: The official (APO1) will request for your PVC to confirm that your card is genuine and your details, using the smart card reader. He/she will ask you to place your finger on the card reader to confirm that the PVC belongs to you by ascertaining, the card reader will contain the name, photograph and finger prints of all those registered in their polling unit.
Step 3: You will then meet the next official (APO11) who will request for your PVC to confirm that your name and details are in the voters register. Your name will be ticked and your PVC returned to you. He/ she will then apply indelible ink to the cuticle of your appropriate finger for that election to show you have been accredited to vote. (If your name is not found on the register, you will not be allowed to vote).
Step 4: The presiding officer (PO) stamps, signs and endorses the date at the back of the Ballot Paper. The PO will roll the ballot paper inwardly with the printed side inwards and give to you. He /she will then direct you to the voting cubicle where you vote in secret.
Step 5: You will stain your appropriate finger for the election with the ink provided then use your stained finger to mark the space or box provided on the ballot paper for your preferred candidate/party. Roll the marked ballot paper (in the manner the PO gave to you).
Step 6: Then leave the voting cubicle and drop the ballot paper in the ballot box in full view of people at the polling unit.
Step 7: You will then leave the polling unit or wait if you so choose in an orderly and peaceful manner to work the process up to declaration of result.
It also noted that the result of each polling unit shall be pasted at the unit and for everyone to see.
You Must Guarantee Credible Elections, German Govt Tells Commission
Meanwhile German government Thursday urged INEC to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the forthcoming general elections.
The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Bernhard Schlagheck, stated this when he paid a courtesy call to INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at the commission’s headquarters.
The envoy said that the 2015 election was already a standard set by the electoral body, adding that the European Union was expecting a better standard in next month elections.
He stated: “Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa; it is the economic power house. It has 200 million people. It has the dimension of Germany and France together. That is how big you are. You are heavy weight giant in the continent.
“Whatever happens in Nigeria has very important repercussion on the rest of the continent and I will say on the rest of the world because Nigeria is a very important country seating on a lot of wealth, oil and natural resources.
“So, the way we handle public stability, political stability and economic challenges will be closely watched anywhere, everywhere in the world. You have important elections coming up. Last election has been an example in the continent and also around the globe, for how you do political transition peacefully. 2015 is in the back of every politician’s mind around the world.
“So, the standard is there. Of course you will be measured against the standard, whether the same, I will not say transition because it depend on the outcome of the election, but the same peacefulness will reign in February and you have very important role to play there.”
“If things go well, people take it for granted that is an easy election. Things are a bit more tense, people look at you; that is where you come into the game and you have to be the guarantor of free and fair credible elections.”
Responding, Yakubu said that the electoral body could not afford to disappoint Nigerians, and the international community.
He said he is aware that the eyes of the world are on Nigeria for the reasons the Ambassador had mentioned, adding that he was also aware that in 2015, Nigeria conducted elections that were commended around the world.
He added, “It is 35 days today to the 2019 election; already the long term observation mission of the EU is in Nigeria for the election, this is a further affirmation of the interest of the international community on elections.
“What happened in 2015 is certainly not a fluke, we hope 2019 will be a further affirmation of maturity of Nigeria democracy.”
He commended the support of the German government and development partners for their support to INEC and the ECONEC members.
British High Commissioner Meets Electoral Body, Others
In a related development British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has reiterated her country’s support for Nigeria during the general elections.
She also reiterated the United Kingdom’s support for the efforts of INEC chairman, Yakubu, and his team to oversee credible, peaceful, free and fair elections.
This was contained in a tweet via her verified Twitter handle, @CatrionaLaing1.
The High Commissioner visited INEC Headquarters in Abuja Thursday.
Laing, alongside the Head of DFID in Nigeria, also met with leading civil society representatives, the purpose of which, she said, was to learn about the civic advocacy space in Nigeria and to discuss views on the upcoming elections.
“UK promises continued support for deepening democracy in Nigeria,” the High Commissioner said.