- In an effort to ensure smooth conduct of the 2019 general polls, INEC has come up with a new technology that is user-friendly
- INEC on Thursday, December 27, revealed that it has introduced an app that can detect vote-buying and other issues related to electoral processes
- The electoral body also revealed that the app can be downloaded from its website or on Google Play Store
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has introduced an application with which Nigerians can observe the 2019 polls live and send reports on the exercises from all polling units.
INEC further revealed that the app is capable of checking electoral crime like vote-buying and can be freely downloaded from its website or on Google Play Store, Punch reports.
Also, the app, according to INEC, has geo-referencing features which can enable the commission's officials to identify challenges wherever they arise, adding that security agencies would be alerted to intervene in any crisis-ridden part of the country, if the need come up.
Mustapha Leeky, INEC's national commissioner and chairman of the Board of The Electoral Institute (TEI), disclosed that the app was developed to address the new challenge of vote buying which was reported to be rampant during the recent governorship elections in some states.
Leeky made these revelations on Thursday, December 27, as he declared open a three-day workshop on electoral security training in Abuja to train security personnel so as to ensure hitch-free 2019 elections.
Leeky: “We have deployed something that most of you media men are paying little regards to; and that is the fact, as at today, if you go to INEC website or Google Play Store, you can download an INEC i-reporter which is something that INEC has spent a lot of money in developing.
“It allows every Nigerian to be an observer and a reporter of events as it happens. This, you can download freely, and have it on your smart phones. So, you can take pictures, you can also take a short video and send it to us.
“It is geo-reference, so we know exactly where that issue is taking place and we can easily draw the attention of police or other security agencies to make sure that the matter is actually addressed.”
The INEC commissioner said the commission had introduced a number of measures to ensure that vote buying does not interfere with the electoral process in 2019.
He further stated: “Our take on vote buying has been well articulated at various fora like this; we abhor it, we think it is uncalled for, you do not need to sell your vote and you do not need to buy votes. In INEC as an institution, we don’t buy votes and we don’t sell votes, we just count the votes.
“So we expect people to cast their votes freely, we have deployed a number of measures to ensure that vote buying does not interfere with our election.
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“We have reconfigured the way our polling units and the ballot boxes are placed so that people cannot expose their votes, so that people can go and collect money afterwards.
“We have also banned the use of smartphones in the polling booth so that you don’t take a picture and show to anyone.”
Moreover, in line with Leeky, the acting director of TEI, Umar Idris, remarked: "The training was meant to ensure adequate preparations for security personnel, especially on the need to stay neutral during the 2019 polls.”
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that INEC had said except for the delay in the passage of the election budget by the National Assembly, it was ready to conduct the 2019 general elections.
The national commissioner of publicity, INEC, Solomon Soyebi, made the statement on Sunday, September 9.
“On our part, we are ready (for the conduct of the 2019 elections). Don’t forget that we gave the notice last year,” the INEC officer stated.
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