INEC to spend N1.4bn on ballot boxes for 2019 election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will use N1.4 billion to purchase ballot boxes to be used during the 2019 general election.

Mahmoud Yakubu, chairman of INEC, made this known on Monday while appearing before the house of representatives committee on electoral matters and political parties affairs.

He said INEC would replace the transparent ballot boxes with plastic ones.

Yakubu said the commission faced the challenge of local manufacturers being unable to deliver the number of boxes within the required stipulated time.

“Sometimes it is easier said that we have manufacturers who have the capacity but when you engage them you realise that we may not have such capacity for volumes and this not only peculiar to elections,” he said.

“So while it is important for us to encourage our domestic producers, we are also careful about that particularly because some of the procurement items are time bound.”

The INEC boss said the commission was working to come up with a specific amount that would be expended on the 2019 election.

“I think it is better for us to do the proper thing so that we approach the executive and the national assembly with a figure we can vouch for and once it is approved we don’t come back towards the election with another supplementary figure,” he said.

He added that they were working hard to ensure smooth election takes place in 2019.

Aishatu Dukku, chairperson of the committee, advocated that the electoral reform measures should be reflected in the 2017 INEC budget.

“The identification and adoption of best practices in electoral framework and administration among nations have resulted in placing countries under pressure to introduce electoral reform measures,” she said.

“I am strongly advocating that this electoral reform measures will form part of the budget of INEC. It is important that the budget of INEC be made to show widespread public accountability and transparency of the commission.”

[UPDATE] #RiversRerun: Hoodlums Snatch Ballot Boxes At Etche LGA

The ongoing River State re-run election is experiencing violence and ballot snatching, report says.

It was reported that there are no ballot boxes in PU32/11/13/012, Ulakwo Ward, Etche LGA. Voters are casting their votes into sack bags

But an observer group, the Independent Service Delivery and Monitoring Group (ISDMG which deployed obervers and election monitor to the election said the ballot boxes were snatched by hoodlums but voters in the area insisted on going ahead with the election.

According to ISDMG Director Communications/Team Leader, Faith Nwadishi the INEC deployed election material to the polling unit just like in every other polling unit but the ballot boexes were snatched by hoodlums.

There were also reports of bombing in Bera, Gokana Local Government Area of the State.

It was also gathered that militants blocked Asari Toru waterways.

Bus Packed With APC Ballot Boxes Siezed By Police

A bus stuffed with over 30 ballot boxes was intercepted at Onigbo-Ugbo Junction on the Benin-Onitsha expressway by the officials of the Delta State Police Command.

The bus with registration number Edo USL 832 XL was said to have picked the materials from a luxurious bus heading to eastern part of the country. The luxurious bus zoomed-off immediately after handing over the consignment to the driver of the smaller bus was arrested by the police following an alarm raised by residents in the area.

A source pleaded to remain anonymous said the boxes had symbols of the All Progressive Congress, adding that they were allegedly using the boxes to raise money for the presidential project of the party.

Read More: sunnewsonline

Ballot Boxes Hijacked and Shattered by NLC Delegates

The 11th National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress was on Thursday abruptly disrupted as aggrieved parties hijack, and smash ballot boxes being used to elect incoming leaders of the organisation, the News Agency of Nigeria is reporting.

The International Conference Centre’s venue of the conference was thrown into confusion as delegates ran for dear lives after some aggrieved contestants and their supporters suddenly became violent, hijacking and destroying ballot boxes even while voting was still underway.

The Conference, which began Tuesday, was organised to elect new leaders for the country’s central labour union following the expiration of tenure of the current executives.

It is not clear yet how the event, which had been peaceful since it began suddenly descended into crisis, but the election for the President of the Union had created tension among delegates and split them along partisan lines.

After the disruption, the police took over the venue and delegates were sent away, ostensibly to protect the facility from being vandalised.

Over 3 000 delegates commenced voting on Thursday as the General Secretary of National Union of Electricity Employees, Joe Ajaero and the President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Wabba Ayuba, presented themselves for election to replace Adbulwaheed Omar.

With the outcome of the delegates conference, the NLC appears to be heading for a major division.