INEC to collate elections results manually

Results of the general elections will be collated and transmitted manually, the  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said yesterday.

This is the only system that the law allows, according to INEC, which plans not to give the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) the power to recruit collation officers.

INEC insists that it has enough courage to conduct free and fair elections, but it urged Nigerians to prevail on political parties to comply with the guidelines for the exercise.

The position of INEC was made known by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, at an interactive session with some media homes in Abuja. Okoye said INEC was ready for the conduct of the polls in 1, 558 constituencies and 774 Local Government Areas. He said the commission has concluded the identification and recruitment of over 814, 453 ad hoc staff.

Okoye spent much time to clarify issues surrounding collation of results. He said: “ For this general election, we are collating results manually and transmitting manually in accordance with the existing laws. Even in some advanced countries, some of them collate and transmit election results manually because in this age of technology, anything can happen. ” INEC has been consistent in following the processes and procedures in collating and transmitting results. If tomorrow the National Assembly changes the laws, we will adopt e-collation and transmission of results.

“The National Commissioner  said INEC will not allow Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs)to recruit collation officers.

Okoye added: “ The practice of recruiting collation officers centrally by INEC headquarters has been in practice since 2011. In all elections since 2011, including the 195 off-season elections since 2015, the recruitment of collation officers is centrally done by INEC headquarters.

“So, since 2011, no REC has been involved in the recruitment of Collation Officers. We will continue to recruit Collation Officers from INEC headquarters, we won’t allow RECs to do that.”

The commission met with the Committee of Vice Chancellors and agreed on the modalities for recruiting and forwarding the names of Collation Officers to INEC headquarters.

“Responding to a question, the National Commissioner said: “Collation Officers are not allowed to make phone calls or receive calls during collation.”

Okoye assured that the commission will be fair to all parties and candidates.

He said: “INEC has pledged to be neutral and will not pander to the whims and caprices of anybody or party.

“We have the courage and  the stamina to provide an enabling environment to guarantee free and fair elections. We have the capacity to conduct elections that all Nigerians will be proud of.”

 

(The Nation)