The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday began the distribution of election materials to the 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Imo ahead of Saturday’s governorship poll.
Political party agents and security personnel were on ground at the Owerri office of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to vet the materials.
INEC’s National Commissioner in-charge of South-East, Mr. Kenneth Ukeagu, expressed the readiness of the commission to ensure a hitch-free exercise.
“We released the timetable for this election about a year ago and in the schedule of activities, we have 13 items and we have implemented 11.
“What is remaining is the end of campaigns and election proper,” Ukeagu said.
He also said that the commission was ready to address challenges that might arise from the distribution process.
Also, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Sylvia Agu, said that all the materials, including sensitive materials and result sheets needed for the poll, had arrived at the CBN Owerri office.
Agu said that after the inspection, party agents, INEC officials, supporting RECs and security personnel would move the materials to the 27 LGAs.
“We have also gone ahead to activate the Registration Area Centers to assist early distribution and ensure closer distribution to poling units,” Agu said.
The Attorney-General of the state and State Collation Officer of APC, Mr Cyprian Akaolisa, commended the transparent process INEC deployed for the distribution process.
“We have seen how carefully they stocked the materials for each local government; ballot papers, non-sensitive materials and results sheets.
“Party agents insisted that the REC should countersign all the result sheets, that is, all the form EC8B and EC8C collation sheets, which the REC and the national commissioner obliged,” Akaolisa said.
In a reaction, a Peoples Democratic Party Collation Agent, Mr Ugochukwu Nwokeoma, said the party would make official statement after the inspection of the materials.
“The inspection is still ongoing, but so far, we have not seen any evidence to show that the materials were tampered with,” Nwokeoma said.