August 06, (THEWILL) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would deploy technological solutions to checkmate any security threats to its personnel and facilities during the November 6 Anambra governorship election.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Friday at a retreat to review the operationalisation structure of the Election Monitoring and Support Center (EMSC) in Keffi, Nasarawa state.
The event was organised by INEC in collaboration with the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).
Yakubu said the development of a security application was necessary following the spate of arson and vandalization targeting the commission’s facilities in recent times.
The electoral body had recorded about 41 deliberate attacks on its facilities across the country within the last two years.
The INEC boss said the application would be integrated into the Election Monitoring and Support Center (EMSC) to avert or mitigate potential risks or threats to the election.
He said; “Something new and innovative that we are deploying for the Anambra poll is the security app in view of the recent attacks on our facilities across the country.
“When election is conducted, they are thousands of interrelated activities happening across the country in far locations, and the commission must be in a position to effectively monitor these activities and like everything we do, we don’t just monitor manually but using technology.
“These tools have been of tremendous benefits or otherwise how do you track the deployment of thousands of activities during elections. They are not new as we started deploying these tools since 2010 and we have used them for three general elections now.
“As a testimony to its robustness as an election management tool, many countries in the West African Region and beyond have shown interest in studying and adopting the EMSC system for their use.”
According to him, reviewing such technology would assist the commission in resolving its anticipated challenges before the 2023 general election.
Speaking on the electoral act amendment bill recently passed by the National Assembly, Yakubu said the commission cannot effectively comment on its provisions until the lawmakers conclude the legislative process on the bill.
He, however, said the current electoral law was adequate enough for the commission to continue with the deployment of certain technologies.
“We don’t need any provision of law for instance for us to deploy EMSC or technology for voter registration. So we will wait and see what eventually comes out from the national assembly for us to effectively comment”, he added.
ECES project coordinator, Hamza Fassi-Fihri, represented by Dr. Isiaka Yahaya, a Senior Electoral Administration Expert, observed that the EMSC has come to stay as an “indispensable and integral part of Nigeria’s electoral system.
He added that the platform is also a process to be exported by Election Management Bodies (EMBs) in the African region and beyond.