The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that it has taken possession of a “substantial part” of the cash it requested of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) amid the naira scarcity.
Two days before the presidential and National Assembly elections, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of INEC, verified receipt of the funds on Thursday during a press conference in Abuja on the commission’s operations.
This occurs two weeks after Mahmood met with Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, to discuss the need for money for logistical operations related to the conduct of the elections, on February 7.
“The bulk of the small amount of cash that we have requested from the Central Bank of Nigeria is right now being released to the commission’s offices nationwide,” he said.
“In fact, a substantial part of it has already been received by our offices nationwide and this has greatly facilitated the movement of sensitive materials yesterday from the branches of the Central Bank to our local government areas.
“By tomorrow, we’ll batch them and then move them on Friday to the registration area centres. And then on Saturday early morning, they’ll be moved to the polling units for voting.”
Yakubu assured all stakeholders of a favorable atmosphere for the electoral process to take place in response to security concerns surrounding the polls.
The head of INEC said that since 2019, there have been 50 attacks on the organisation in 15 states.
He said that the commission had recovered, though, and that sufficient security would be provided for voters, workers, and observers during the polls by the security services present on the ground.
“Several of the commission’s facilities were attacked by unknown assailants in various parts of the country.
“I am pleased that we have fully recovered from these attacks and we have been further assured that our facilities, staff, voters, observers, the media, and citizens will be safe during the election,” he said.
Yakubu expressed confidence that the possibility of vote-buying, which he described as not only illegal but also unethical, would be “vastly reduced” as a result of INEC working in concert with other agencies prior to and on the day of the election.
“The ban on the use of mobile phones and photographic devices at the voting cubicles is still in force. Our arrangement of placing the ballot boxes near the voting cubicles and away from the party agents remains,” he said.
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