Gibson Achonu, Owerri
Desirous to improve on its past electoral performance, the Independent National Electoral Commission says it has evolved an election management system as well as an Election Risk Management tool to guard against pitfalls that marred previous elections, conducted by it in the country.
The Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor Chukwuemeka Ezeonu disclosed this at a one-day media forum organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation, Development Dynamics in Owerri on Friday.
Aside this, Ezeonu who threw light on what transpired during the November 18, 2017 Anambra State governorship election, said that a stringent measure had been put in place by the electoral umpire to penalise both INEC staff and members of the public who go contrary to the electoral processes to ensure that the wishes of the electorates prevail.
The INEC boss, who justified the use of the card readers machine in conducting elections in the country despite mounting public criticisms associated with the application of the electoral device, said that only 0.63 per cent of the card readers failed to function maximally in some polling booths in the Anambra gubernatorial election.
“If you go to the bank and the ATM fails to operate due to lack of network, does it mean that we should discard the use of the ATM? INEC has advanced in the deployment of materials and we are getting closer to the people and on the eve of the elections, we deployed materials to such areas”, Ezeonu said.
Despite the feat recorded in Anambra during the gubernatorial election, Ezeonu contended that the INEC was still battling with a number of numerous challenges which border on logistics and transport.
He however, stated that the inaccessibility of some remote voting centres had become a stumbling block to INEC but assured that something was being done to take care of this.
“As an old wine, INEC is getting better as it matures and most electoral bodies in some South African sub region now seek assistance from us to conduct elections in their home countries”.
Adding his voice, the Executive Director of Development Dynamics, Dr. Jude Ohanaele commended INEC for the smooth conduct of both Ekiti and Kogi states elections, regretting that the electoral body failed to repeat the feat in Anambra State in the November polls.