By Douglas Okoro
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says 27 candidates from 14 registered political parties fielded candidates for the three senatorial seats in Ebonyi State. Also, 48 candidates will contest for the six House of Representatives seats on the platform of 16 political parties.
Prof. Godswill Obioma, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ebonyi State, made the disclosure during a media briefing on Thursday in Abakaliki. Both presidential and National Assembly elections are scheduled to hold on Feb. 16, 2019.
Obioma said that the briefing was designed to keep the media abreast of the commission’s preparations for the conduct of smooth and credible 2019 general elections in Ebonyi. He solicited support, partnership and cooperation of the media in the conduct of the 2019 elections.
He noted that the commission commenced preparations for credible, transparent, smooth free and fair elections in Ebonyi well in advance and assured that votes would count in the 2019 elections.
His words, “In its painstaking plan of activities that will lead to the 2019 elections, INEC headquarters produced and released a comprehensive election project plan. INEC Ebonyi State office in compliance with the directive from the national office domesticated the Election Project Plan (EPP). This domestication implied setting up task teams for the various aspects of tasks specified in the EPP.”
He said that INEC in Ebonyi commenced display of the voters’ register throughout the state on Nov. 6 in compliance with the electoral law.
“The display of register of voters will enable registered voters confirm their names, particulars and other details as well as raise objections and claims with reference to their captured details. The exercise which commenced simultaneously throughout the country will last for one week and our staff and NYSC members have been trained and prepared for the exercise.”
He said that the commission has upgraded the quality and capacity of its Smart Card Readers (SCRs) for use in the 2019 elections.
“We have upgraded the quality and capacity of the SCRs to be deployed in 2019. Battery voltage of the new card readers is 3000 mili-amps and designed to last for three days as against the old machine that has only 500 mili-amps and lasts six hours only.
“We shall train 171 registration area technicians to offer rapid response technical repair and assistance in the event of machine breakdown. A total of 2805 functional SCRs will be deployed to 1785 polling units and 508 voting points in the state.”
The resident electoral commissioner, who restated commitment of the commission in ensuring violence free polls in the state, cautioned political parties to conduct their electioneering campaigns and activities within the ambit of the law.
He further warned electorate and politicians against indulging in vote- selling and vote-buying.