THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has taken delivery of additional 16,000 Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines, ahead of the fresh voter registration slated for next month.
The chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, who disclosed this on Monday at a one-day dialogue on â€œToward an inclusive and participatory 2011 elections in Nigeria,â€ said that the delivery of all other needed equipment for the smooth take-off of the exercise slated to hold from January 15 to January 29, 2011 was on course.
Professor Jega declared that the commission was committed to giving Nigeria free, fair and credible elections in 2011 and said that all the challenges noticed in the previous elections were being addressed squarely in order to avoid the mistakes of the past and to ensure that the process was credible.
He said that already, the commission had commenced the recruitment of over 360,000 registration officers that would work simultaneously in all the 120,000 polling units across the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
He pointed out that if there was any reason that people could not be registered within the stipulated time, there would be a provision for continuous registration but such people would not be able to vote in the April elections.
Said he: â€œWe have tried to make the voter registration exercise very simple, we have enough materials, all materials needed are going to be provided at the polling units, we will give out temporary identification cards to voters after registration and would later be issued with permanent voter cards.â€
Professor Jega, who said that the commission was already addressing all envisaged security challenges in order to make the exercise hitch-free, declared that there could not be any meaningful electoral reforms without the positive involvement of everybody.
He urged all Nigerians to also monitor the exercise and report problems, hitches and other acts that could undermine the process to the nearest office of the commission and as well the headquarters of the commission in Abuja.
Professor Jega, who noted that there could be no perfect election in the country as being expected by the populace, however, said that the commission would do everything within its power â€œto deliver free, fair and credible elections based on a reliable register of voters.â€
On the recent theft of some of the DDC machines acquired for the registration, Professor Jega regretted the incident but assured Nigerians that such would never happen again based on the concerted effort of the appropriate security agencies to secure all the needed materials and officials as well.
In his remarks, the chairman on the occasion, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Chief Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, observed that implementation of the reports of the Electoral Reforms Committee would enhance the conduct of the 2011 general election in the country.