INEC to conduct mock accreditation of voters in 436 PUs next Saturday

...consider additional measures to ensure PVCs collection

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will next week Saturday, on February 5 conduct mock accreditation of voters in 436 polling units across the country.

The exercise is to test run INEC’s readiness for the nationwide deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines and other logistics for the February/March general election.

The commission has designated 12 polling units in each state of the federation and four in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the equality of the country’s 109 senatorial districts for the exercise.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman disclosed these at a meeting with States Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja on Friday, to put finishing touches to the umpire’s preparations for the forthcoming elections.

Yakubu said a comprehensive list of the polling units, including their names and code numbers, as well as their distribution by state, senatorial district, local government and registration area (Ward) will be uploaded to INEC website shortly.

He appealed to registered voters in the affected polling units to appear on the scheduled date with their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for the mock exercise.

“Doing so will help to reassure the public of the robustness of our system and to strengthen our processes ahead of the General Election.

“Civil society organisations, the media and the general public are welcome to observe the process. At the end of the exercise, the 436 BVAS machines involved will be reconfigured before they are deployed for the general election,” Yakubu said.

The chairman said additional measures to ensure that all citizens have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the general election will be considered at the meeting after examination of reports from states.

He assured Nigerians that the commission will always be responsive to the needs of the electorate, noting that saying PVCs
collection is one of the few issues to be addressed preparatory to the polls.

Read also: 2023 Polls: Nigeria’s future depends on your performance, INEC boss tells staff

Yakubu said: “The commission is encouraged by the determination of registered voters nationwide to collect their PVCs and the actual level of collection so far.

“For instance, in Lagos State, which has the highest number of registered voters in the country, the Commission delivered 940,200 PVCs from the recent voter registration exercise (June 2021 to July 2022) for both new registrants and requests for transfer and replacement of cards. As of yesterday Thursday 26th January 2023, 839,720 PVCs have been collected representing 89.3% of the total figure.”

He informed that movement of materials for the election to various locations nationwide is being concluded and training of officials will commence shortly.

Yakubu said airlifting and delivery of sensitive materials to states of the federation has gone far, adding that ongoing consultations with stakeholders will be intensified.

“Accreditation of national and international observers and the media is being finalised. Critical service providers in the area of transportation have reassured us of their commitment to efficient logistics for the movement of materials and personnel to various locations while the security agencies have reaffirmed their readiness for the election.

“As you are already aware, the Commission has taken delivery of the BVAS machines for the election. We have also dutifully tested each machine in our offices nationwide to ensure its functionality.

“The next step is to conduct field tests across the country involving actual voters. For this reason, and in readiness for nationwide deployment, the commission is conducting a mock accreditation of voters similar to what was done ahead of the recent Ekiti and Osun state governorship elections,” the chairman said.

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