INEC’s Public Affairs Officer in Bayelsa, Mr Timidi Wariowei, who made the disclosure on Thursday in Yenagoa said the Commission received sensitive election materials on Wednesday and commenced distribution in Ekeremor Local Government Area on Thursday with that of troubled Southern Ijaw to be dispatched hours before the poll.
“All the materials are now in our custody; the materials include ballot papers and result sheets. On the distribution process, we intend to dispatch that of Southern-Ijaw Local Government Area early morning of Saturday”, he revealed.
“You know that the real focus is the Southern-Ijaw and we do not want what happened on December 5, 2015 to repeat itself in that area. Mr. Wariowei assured of the commission’s readiness to conduct hitch-free poll on January 9.
“INEC is prepared to conduct free, fair and credible election for the betterment of the people. We have over 100 polling units in the state to conduct the election and Southern-Ijaw; so, we are ready to conduct credible and acceptable election,’’ he added.
On the use of ad hoc staff, he explained that the Commission resolved to use some of the personnel that participated in the December 5, 2015 gubernatorial election in the state.
According to him, some of the ad- hoc staff had been changed, especially for the Southern-Ijaw as part of the bid to ensure free and fair supplementary poll in the state.
“INEC is on top of the game. On security, we have been working with security agencies because without them, we cannot conduct the election”, he stressed.
Meanwhile, INEC national headquarter also disclosed that it would be deploying three of its national commissioners to supervise tomorrow’s supplementary governorship election in the state.
INEC deputy director of publicity, Mr Nick Dazang, said in Abuja on Thursday that the commission would also deploy a technical team to each ward where the election would be conducted.
According to him, about 834 ad hoc staff, comprising four staff in each of the 431 polling units, would also be deployed to conduct the election.
The INEC spokesperson disclosed that election would be conducted in 425 polling units (PUs) and five voting points in Southern Ijaw local government area of the state as well as 101 polling units (PUs) in three other local government areas of the state where election were cancelled.
“In addition to these the commission is going to monitor the election via its situation room situated at the INEC headquarters in Abuja,” he said.
By Olisemeka Obeche