INEC beefs up security for sensitive materials

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that it has beefed up security at its states and local government offices where sensitive materials for the 2023 general election will be kept one week to the poll.

It also disclosed that no fewer than 1,265,227 ad-hoc staff, comprising presiding officers, assistant presiding officers, supervisory presiding officers, collation/returning officer, and polling unit security officials will be deployed for the exercise.

National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, made the disclosure in his address at the INEC Voter Education and Publicity Training on Strategic Communication event in Abuja, yesterday.

“All the sensitive and non sensitive materials required for the conduct of the 2023 general election are being moved to location. Security is being beefed up in the state and LG  offices of the commission and all the materials required for the election will be in place at least a week to the election,” Okoye revealed.

On the personnel for the general election, he said: “For the 2023 general election, the commission will recruit 707, 384 presiding officers and assistant presiding officers, about 17, 685 supervisory presiding officers, 9,620 collation/returning officer, as well as 530,538 polling unit security officials, making a total of 1,265,227.”

The commission insisted that there will be no going back on the deployment of technology, stressing: “the 2023 general election will be technology driven. To this end, the commission will deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to the 176,846 Polling Units across the federation. The commission will also deploy redundancies to the 8,809 Registration Areas and the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria.

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“The commission has tested the full complement of the BVAS that will be used for the election and they are presently being configured in readiness for the election. Following improvements made to the hardware and software components of the BVAS, the commission approved and carried out mock accreditation and Polling Unit Result Upload nationwide.

“This took place on the 4th of February 2023 in all the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Specifically, it took place in 218 Local Government Areas and 436 Polling Units. The Chairman of the commission who supervised the entire process expressed satisfaction with the optimal performance of the BVAS in all the states of the Federation.

“The use of the BVAS for voter verification and authentication is a mandatory provision of section 47(2) of the Electoral Act and every registered voter must undergo the process of accreditation. The commission will also upload Polling Unit level results (Form EC8A) and the accreditation data to the INEC Result Viewing Portal,” he explained.

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