By Ene Asuquo
Ahead of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly Elections in Nigeria, the electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has started the movement of election materials from the State Office to different local government areas in the state
The distribution of sensitive and none sensitive materials at the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Office in Calabar, was witnessed by leaders of political parties in the state, Inter party Advisory Council (IPAC) and members of the press
Arguments ensued when INEC, at the point of distribution, again refused to allow political party representatives, and members of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) to see, and verify the BVAS serial numbers and verify the signature of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) on the result sheets meant for the 2023 elections.
Although the materials have been moved to various INEC Local Government offices state wide, under serious security escort, vis-avis INEC, Professor Gabriel Yomere’s assurances of a transparent process, various political party Chairmen have expressed divergent opinions on the process.
In an interview with our reporter at the INEC state headquarters Calabar, Mr Ogar Osim, the Labour Party Chairman, expressed confidence in the process: “The transparency we are witnessing here today should be replicated on Saturday, because Nigerians are eager for a new Nigeria. So far we can see transparency in the process, let what we are seeing here be replicated at the pooling units”.
In his reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state chairman, Venatius Ikem, said, “INEC’s refusal to let his party verify the REC’s Signature on the result sheets and BVAS serial codes is a concern that will affect the outcome of the elections, hence their worries”.
“We are not completely Satisfied, because we have made our observations known during inspection”.
We remain dissatisfied because the serial numbers of the BVAS remains very relevant to us. The REC admitted that the BVAS came with serial numbers, but said he was not under obligations to release them to anybody
“They must do something to show us that there is nothing happening to those Machines meant for this elections. Secondly, the REC seem reluctant to authenticate the result sheets, before they are sent to the field and we do not known why.
However, the state secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr Bassey Offiong, said, “if the results sheets are supposed to be signed, and they are not signed, then we will definitely be worried but that whatever issues is raised wouldbe addressed