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2019: INEC unveils special app to check electoral malpractice

By Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja on 28/12/2018

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The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, has unveiled a special app, to address electoral malpractice ahead of the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

The app will provide Nigerians opportunity to give report on observations from their polling unit.

The app which can be freely downloaded through the INEC website or google play store has geo-referencing features which can enable officials of the Commission identify wherever challenges may arise and alert security agencies to take charge in any part of the country.

Dr Mustapha Leeky, INEC’s National Commissioner, noted that the app was developed to address the new phenomenon of “vote buying” which partly characterized recent elections in some states of the federation.

Leeky who doubles as Chairman, Board of the Electoral Institute (BEI) stated this on Thursday, while declaring open a three-day workshop on Electoral Security Training of Trainers Workshop for State Training Officers in Abuja

He said, “We have deployed something that most of you media men are paying little regards to, that is the fact, as at today, if you go to INEC website or google play you can download an INEC i-reporter which is something that INEC has spent a lot of money in developing.

“It allows every Nigerian to be an observer and a reporter of events as it happens, this you can download freely and have it on your smart phones, so you can take pictures, you can also take a short video and send it to us, it is geo-reference, so we know exactly where that issue is taking place and we can easily draw the attention of police or other security agencies to make sure that matter is actually addressed”.

Speaking on vote buying which allegedly characterized recent elections, the INEC Commissioner said the commission has deployed a number of measures to ensure it does not interfere with the electoral process in 2019.

“Our take on vote buying has been well articulated at various fora like this, we abhor it, we think it is uncalled for, you do not need to sell your vote and you do not need to buy votes, INEC as an institution, we don’t buy votes and we don’t sell votes, we just count the votes.

“So we expect people to cast their votes freely, we have deployed a number of measures to ensure that vote buying does not interfere with our election, we have reconfigured the way our polling units and the ballot box are placed, so that people cannot expose their votes, so that people can go and collect money after wards, we have also banned the use of smart phones in the polling booth so that you don’t take a picture and show to anyone,” he stated.

He said the workshop to train security personnel was inspired by the need to ensure the 2019 election is conducted in a hitch free manner.

Dr Umar Idris, Acting Director, the Electoral Institute(TEI) on his part said the training exercise was meant to ensure adequate preparations for the security personnel, especially on the need to stay neutral during the 2019 polls.

“Security remains a concern for a massive process like the election which is coming due next year 2019, because without adequate security you will not have a peaceful environment for people to exercise their franchise, so security is very important, which underscores why we are having this workshop today for our state trainers who will go back and engage at different levels at state levels and senatorial district levels too.

“They need to understand the terms of engagement for a peaceful credible election, we need to secure the environment for people to have a very happy and pleasant voting experience, security is very important, we know there are challenges across a number of places in the country, we believe the government is doing whatever it can to ensure that it is addressed, INEC is not a security outfit we can only work with the security agencies to ensure that the right thing is done and Nigeria is a very hopeful country so we believe that the atmosphere will be secured for a credible election” 

Sourced from The Nation report

Source News Express

Posted 28/12/2018 05:30:20 AM





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