Elections: INEC Warns Staff Against Being Compromised By Money Bags

As the March 28 and April 11 dates for the general elections get afoot, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Saturday warned its members of staff to be wary of the antics of money-bags who would be very desperate to compromise the presidential and governorship elections.

INEC National Commissioner in charge of Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti States, Prof Lai Olurode, who gave this admonition in Ado Ekiti at the weekend during a meeting with the management staff in Ekiti State led by its Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Sam Olumekun, urged staffers to safeguard their careers and the integrity of the electoral body.

While charging the INEC staff to improve on the achievement of the June 21, 2014 governorship election that was adjudged the best in recent time, Olurode said, ‘I want to let you know that you have a career to build here and these money-bag politicians will never hesitate to destroy you. We are going to improve on the welfare package that won’t make you to look into the pockets of these dangerous people.’

‘By now, we expect you to be working with political parties on how the voters can place the presidential and the National Assembly ballot papers. The red box is for the presidential while the black is for the national assembly because any wrong placement will be counted as invalid votes.’

The INEC national commissioner went on to clarify that the Smart Card Readers being proposed for the 2015 general elections, is not synonymous with electronic voting as being erroneously thought in some quarters.

According to him, the basic functions of the device is to verify the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and authenticate the claims of the prospective voters.

He said fears that the device is synonymous with electronic voting was misplaced and unwarranted, noting that if that was to be, it would contravene the provision of the Electoral Acts 2010 as amended.

In Olurode’s words, ‘this device is meant to add credibility to our polls. It has to functions to discharge and that is to verify the PVC as being authentic or fake and to authenticate whether the voter that brings it is the actual owner because we won’t tolerate the use of cloned cards in this election.’

‘Smart card reader is not synonymous with electronic voting in any way. We have to make it clear that accreditation will be done on the voter register after your cards have been certified to be authentic and that is where voting starts.’

‘And we are assuring you that whoever that get accredited will certainly vote because there is no time limit to voting now. Voting will only stop when the last person on the queue votes, but there is limit to accreditation,’ he explained.

The INEC chief ended by encouraging staff of the commission to commence an intensive house-to-house sensitisation campaign to shore up people’s awareness to the collection of PVCs and the placement of the ballot papers.

Source: Daily Post