Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will on Wednesday withdraw all the sensitive materials from the vaults of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for distribution to states, local government areas and wards for this week’s presidential and national assembly elections.
Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, who made the disclosure equally allayed the fears of Nigerians over the stolen smart card readers in Zamfara State, assuring that the commission has enough in its stock to replace any stolen before the election day.

Asked about the readiness of the commission for this weekend’s elections, Idowu said: “The commission is as ready as readiness can go. The non-sensitive materials have all been deployed to the locations for onward distribution to the polling units for the election day.”

“The sensitive materials will be taken out of the CBN vaults on Wednesday, in line with the tradition, to the state offices and from there they will be distributed to the local government Area offices on Thursday and from there it will distributed to the wards on Friday for onward distribution to the polling units on Saturday.

“The issue of late arrival of electoral materials has been checked right from the elections in Anambra State. The commission has gotten a handle and from Anambra, we improved tremendously on logistics.

“Training for our staff has been concluded for second level training. Things are in place for the election on Saturday.”

Allaying fears over the stolen card readers, Idowu said: “The stolen card readers will have no effect on the elections. The commission has always said that we have more than enough to use. Since it was used for training, it was not configured for any polling unit.

“More importantly, the card reader cannot be used anywhere else except at the polling units on the election because the permanent voters cards (PVCs) are allotted and issued on the basis of the poling unit. So, anyone hoping to take his or her PVC to another card reader in another polling unit, the person will not succeed.

“It does not work that way and honestly there is no way it will affect the elections in that area. There is no need nursing any fear that fraudsters would would reconfigure those stolen card readers because they will not get any PVC that will be compatible with the card readers.

“Incidentally, it is not our staff at the polling units that configure the card readers . Those on the field don’t have the skill to configure it. There is no way any connivance with anybody could make the stolen card reader usable.”