The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it has commenced its Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, in five local government areas, LGAs, of Borno, where it had initial challenge of deploying personnel and materials for the exercise.
The INEC National Commissioner, Ahmed Mu’azu, on Sunday in Abuja, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the exercise was going on smoothly in all the 27 LGAs of the state.
INEC had sought the assistance of the Nigerian Air Force in the deployment of personnel and materials required for the conduct of the CVR in Damboa, Chibok, Goza, Bama, and Kala-Balge LGAs of Borno.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, made the request when he led the commission’s management to a courtesy visit on the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, on April 27 in Abuja.
Mr. Mu’azu said the exercise was now ongoing in all the 774 LGAs across the country, following the intervention of the Air Force in the air lift of INEC staff and materials to affected five LGAs of Borno.
“The continuous voter registration in Borno commenced the same day with other states except in five local governments where we had challenge of deployment of staff and materials to INEC offices in affected LGAs.
“This made the INEC Chairman, however, visited the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to solicit the Air Force assistant in the air light of materials and personnel to the five LGAs.
“The request was graciously given instant approval by the Chief of Air Staff.
“The Air Force has tremendously assisted us to commence the exercise in Borno just few days after the nationwide commence of the exercise on April 27,” Mr. Mu’azu said.
He added that the force had also been assisting INEC in monitoring the exercise in the state.
He commended the Air Force for its kind gesture demonstrated to the commission towards the development of the country’s electoral process and its democracy.
Asked for the update on the exercise nationwide, Mr. Mu’azu said that the exercise has been peaceful and encouraging.
“The commission has been addressing the identified challenges and we also have a plan for mid-term review of exercise to proffer solutions to the identified problems as the exercise continues.’’
NAN recalled that INEC had commenced the CVR exercise in all its 774 LGAs office on April 27.
Mr. Yakubu said that while peace had been restored to the north-east states and many people had returned to their towns and villages, INEC had challenges in deploying its personnel and materials in five LGAs in Borno.
According to Mr. Yakubu, the challenge of deployment was not in the local government headquarters but the road leading to the local government headquarters.
“We appeal to the Air Force, in the interest of our democracy and father land, to deploy our national assets at your disposal to enable us achieve this great responsibility,’’ Mr. Yakubu said.
Responding, Mr. Abubakar pledged the readiness of the force to partner with INEC for safe deployment of INEC’s staff and materials.
He also promised the force’s readiness to assist INEC in future elections not only in Borno but in any part of the country.