Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday solicited the support of the media ahead of the off-cycle governorship election in Bayelsa on Nov. 11, 2023.
Mr Sam Olumekun, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee at INEC made the appeal at a forum with media executives in Yenagoa ahead of the polls.
Olumekun who is also a National Commissioner at INEC noted that the commission regards the media as a strategic partner in the democratic process and hence the collaboration to deliver transparent and credible governorship elections.
He said that the meeting was convened to update the media with preparations so far made and ensure that the media was familiar with the election day processes and procedures.
“Therefore, media remains one of our critical stakeholders, such that we have over 100 members of INEC Press Corps from various media organisations in the country who cover the commission’s activities regularly.
“The commission also frequently consults the media ahead of formulation of policies and during the implementation of activities to keep you abreast of goings on in the electoral system and the commission,” Olumekun said.
He assured that the commission was ready for the polls as the non-sensitive materials were already on ground while the sensitive materials had been procured and awaiting dispatch.
Speaking earlier, Mr Obo Efanga, Resident Electoral Commissioner in Bayelsa appealed to the media to assist the commission in enlightening the electorate to embrace peace and shun violence.
Efanga who was represented by Mr Emmanuel Obodu, Administrative Secretary, INEC Bayelsa assured that the commission was determined to conduct credible elections.
Officials from various units of INEC took turns to make presentations on the workings of their departments and the roles they play in the electoral process.
Mr Raymond Ofonye, Head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in his presentation traced the history of the introduction of technology in the electoral system.
He noted that the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was developed to address the challenges of earlier systems adding that technology was dynamic and synonymous with improvements.
He said that the continuous upgrade of the BVAS has resulted in up to 99 per cent reliability will less than one per cent failure to identify and accredit voters.