Saturday December 10, 2022 2:39 AM

2023 Poll: INEC to deploy secret security agents to polling units- Official

The electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it would make use of secret  security agents at polling units across the country.

According to the agency, the move is to avoid vote buying and increase transparency in next year’s general elections.

This was disclosed by the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee of the commission , Festus Okoye,

He made this statement this during the citizens elections dialogue hosted by YIAGA Africa and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

According to him, the stance to  ban the using mobile phones during voting to take picture is in place to checkmate electoral malpractices.

He said: “This commission is focused and determined to give Nigerians a good election. In terms of the issue of vote buying, the commission has reconfigured the various polling units to guarantee the secrecy of the votes.

“We have also made sure that people do not enter the voting compartments with their mobile phones that can take pictures and we are also collaborating with the different security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), to make sure that plain-clothe security personnel are deployed to some polling units on election day to stem the issue of vote buying and vote selling.

“It is fashionable to grandstand relating to the commitment of the INEC to free, fair and transparent election. But you should also flip back and look at some of the party primaries that some of the political parties conducted and how well they conducted them.

“As far as the commission is concerned, our mandate is to organise, undertake and supervise elections and that’s exactly what we’re going to do and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

Okoye said the commission made a deliberate effort to include technology in the electoral process to avoid human interference.

“We’re going to make sure technology is deployed and we’re also going to make sure that we transmit polling unit results into our INEC viewing portal”.

He added that the commission will do “whatever it takes to guarantee free, fair, transparent and inclusive” elections in 2023.

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