By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti State has again assured the electorate that the sensitive and non-sensitive materials already distributed for the conduct of Saturday’s elections got to the right destinations across the 16 local government areas of the state.
Speaking with newsmen in Ado Ekiti Thursday, INEC Acting Resident Electoral Commissioner, who doubles as the Administrative Secretary in the state, Dr. Muslim Omoleke, said the vehicles that conveyed the electoral materials were monitored through a special office called Electoral Operation Support Centre (EOSC).
Omoleke disclosed that INEC in Ekiti had received virtually all the materials for the conduct of the elections and was 98 per cent ready for the polls.
He added that apart from the fact that adequate security were on ground to monitor the materials to the councils and from there to the wards and registration areas, all vans used for the movement were tracked and monitored to their respective destinations.
“The reason for the postponement of the election was basically that of logistic problem . As we speak, we have distributed all the materials, both sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the local governments from where they were moved to the wards and registration areas.
“Virtually all the materials have been offloaded as of 11am this morning (Thursday). To make the elections credible, we are going to do refresher training for our ad hoc staff on Friday to remind them about the rules of the game.
“We created Electoral Operation Support Centre (EOSC) to monitor events and ensure that materials get to the right places.
“We also have people working in the situation room who have all the numbers of the staff on the field, especially the presiding officers.
“We are also working with the security agencies, the police, NIA and NSCDC and the military, who have been guarding our materials. We are 100 per cent sure that our materials are intact and safe.
“I can boldly say that we have substantially addressed the situations that led to the sudden postponement last week.
“The mix up encountered in our materials last week could be factory error and that was why we started the sorting early this time at the Central Bank of Nigeria to prevent such again,” he said.
Commenting on how the materials were distributed, Omoleke said the sorting and distribution of the materials took place at the temporary site of the state branch of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), situated along the State Secretariat road, Ado Ekiti.
Among items distributed before security agents were card readers, ballot papers, result sheets, different versions of forms and registers as well as ballot papers, among others.
Leading political parties such as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), AA and others were also on hand to monitor the distribution.
Omoleke added that the distribution began at about 2:00pm on Wednesday and would be concluded before the close of work on Thursday, assuring the people that the commission was not leaving any stone unturned towards achieving a timely and hitch-free exercise.
Speaking on the development, PDP representative at the CBN, Mr. Oluwalafe Sunday, expressed satisfaction that all the sensitive
materials were intact and were indeed being distributed accordingly.
He however expressed concern over alleged non-presence of certain important documents which he said were either erroneously taken to other states and were yet to be returned or were not made available at all to the state.
But his APC counterpart, Mr Garuba Arogundade, said he was satisfied with the entire process, adding that his only area of concern was that INEC should have started the distribution days earlier so as to beat any pressure.
Also commenting, the MEGA party representative, Mr Femi Oladipo, commended INEC for making efforts to live up to its promise of making sure all election material got to polling booths in record time on the day of the election.