Saturday, August 11, 2018 5:33 pm
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Saturday, said that it has introduced security features on its ballot papers to curb ballot stuffing.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in charge of Bauchi state, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi made this known in Bauchi while fielding questions from newsmen.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Abdullahi had visited some polling centres in Bauchi Southern Senatorial District to monitor the conduct of the ongoing by-election.
“For the first time, we have coded our ballot papers and result sheets according to ward and local government configuration.
“For instance, you cannot transfer the ballot papers from one local government or one ward to the other.
“Because they all have unique identities, therefore, it is very difficult for anybody to stuff ballot,” he said.
On the general conduct of the polls, Abdullahi said the election has been very peaceful, though few technical hitches expected in any operations were tackled appropriately.
According to him, voters affected by the technical hitches will be given opportunity to cast their votes.
He said that there were enough security agents in all the polling units he had visited to maintain law and order.
Abdullahi said that the commission was not anticipating instance of ballot snatching because of the transparent manner the commission was conducting its assignment.
“The conduct of the election is so transparent that the people themselves and the voters around will not allow anybody to come and snatch the ballot box.
“We want to assure the electorate that everyone’s vote will count and we have tried to do all the processes transparently.
“We counted the number of ballot papers publicly in the presence of party’s agents and other stakeholders. We started the process in the open for everybody to see,” he said.
The INEC commissioner described the present election as an improvement on the previous elections conducted in the country.
“In terms of voting processes compared to the last election, we now have a simultaneous voting and accreditation unlike before.
“You are accredited and given ballot papers to go and cast your vote unlike in the previous election you are credited, you go back to your house and after one or two hours, you come back to vote.
“Sometimes, the voter may decide not to come back and cast his vote, it makes the exercise very difficult,” he said.