The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has refuted the allegations that some com-missioners were lobbying for reappointment.
The national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter education committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, disclosed this at a workshop organised by the commission for journalists in Akure, the Ondo state capital on Wednesday.
Okoye said, “Every national commissioner knows his or her date of engagement and when he or she will leave. For these national commissioners, one of them is a professor in Political Science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka”.
“One is a professor at the University of Ibadan. These are professors that their universities would not want them to leave. There are two commissions going forever because they have served two terms. Once you serve two terms, you cannot be reappointed as a commissioner”.
“You can be appointed as the chairman of the commission. There’s no national commissioner that’s lobbying. No national commissioner that has not been accomplished.”
Okoye also explained why the Z-Pad technology measure was introduced during the Nasarawa central state the constituency election was not going to be used for purpose of verification and identification in the Edo and Ondo states gubernatorial elections.
“The allegation that on issue of Presiding Officers is not true. All these people submitted their applica-tions and we vet all the applications in line with due process. This process has been going, on for years and we have not abandoned it.
“So, to begin to insinuate that somebody wants to compromise Supervising Officers is neither here nor there’’.
It’s just the usual
propaganda when the election is approaching and this commission would
not be distracted by propaganda and baseless allegations.
“On issue of Z-Pad, some of you are aware that we use Smart Card
Reader for purposes of verification and identification. In the
Nasarawa election, the commission introduced Z-Pad as secondary
verification solution to the smart card reader. If the smart card
reader is unable to identify your fingerprints, the Z-Pad will
identify you and capture your facials and then you can vote.
“The policy of one’s commission is to test run every technological
device, innovation, or creativity that will be introduced in a small
election. So, we introduced the Z-Pad in Nasarawa Central state
“There were issues around it. There were some problems. So, the
commission came back and said no Edo and Ondo are big elections. Some
of these problems we noticed in the Z-Pad, we need to rectify them
before we introduce them in big elections.
“But for the purposes of uploading Form EC8A from the polling units to
a dedicated portal, we are going to continue with the Z-Pad.
“This commission is not vendor-driven, this commission will no bow to
any vendor. We are the one who are going to drive the use of
technology in electoral process and not the technology driving us. Any
technology were not sure of or that’s not robust enough, or that we
are no too sure we can defend, we will keep on trying it until we are
sure it’s robust enough.
“We deployed Z-Pad in Nasarawa election and we had challenges. The
election could not start on time because some of the youth corps
members and students of higher institutions were not robustly trained
on how to use the Z-Pad.
“I want to assure and reassure you that this commission is committed
to the conduct of credible election both in Edo and Ondo states and in
all the fourteen by elections we are going to conduct.”