The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called on registered voters nationwide to endeavour to participate in the forthcoming mock accreditation exercise slated for Saturday, 4 February.
According to the commission, it is advisable that registered voters in the 436 designated Polling Units (PUs) nationwide come out to partake in the exercise with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) ahead of the election proper.
The call was made in Abuja by the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday when he received a delegation of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), led by its president, Mr. Anthony Banbury.
The INEC boss said the will of Nigerians would prevail, as the commission is committed to conducting free, fair and credible elections.
Yakubu explained that “One of the things that we have decided to do is to ensure that we test run the device by conducting a mock accreditation exercise. We have announced that this exercise is going to happen on Saturday, February 4, meaning it is going to happen this weekend.
“So once again, I seize the opportunity of this visit to appeal to Nigerians to please go to the designated polling units. We have 436 of them, 12 PUs in each state of the federation and four in the FCT so they can test-run this device.
“In the unlikely event of challenges, we have time between the conclusion of the exercise and the general elections to respond to the challenges. But we are very happy with the functionality of the machines so far, particularly the tests carried out on the number of machines received in preparation for the general elections.”
Speaking about the level of preparedness of the commission, Yakubu revealed that INEC was good to go and that by February 9, the commission would commence the training of election duty staff.
He also said the largest chunk of materials required for the election, both sensitive and non-sensitive, were already in various locations.
The INEC chairman added that the commission has successfully implemented 12 activities out of the 14 identified on the released timetable for the election in February, adding that the commission only has two outstanding activities.
He also admonished registered voters who had yet to collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) to use the opportunity of the extension of the deadline to collect them.
Yakubu as well called on civil society organisations (CSOs), the media, political parties and Nigerians across the board to observe where they wished in the deployment of the BVAS for the mock exercise on Saturday.