The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned political parties against the use of mobile phones and to shun vote-buying during the area council election in the Federal Capital Territory on Saturday, February 12.
This is amid an indefinite strike declared last month by the primary school teachers over failure of councils’ chairmen to reach agreements with the union.
The warning was issued by the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu during a stakeholders meeting held at the NAF Conference Centre on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the ban on the use of mobile phones and other photographic devices in the voting cubicles was still in force, noting that violators would be prosecuted.
Yakubu said, “I would like to reiterate that voter inducement in all forms, including vote-buying at polling units, is a violation of the law. The ban on the use of mobile phones and other photographic devices in the voting cubicles is still in force.”
During the meeting, candidates participating in the election also resolved to commit to a peaceful and violence-free election.
Yakubu who reiterated that voter inducement in all forms, including vote-buying at polling units, was a violation of the law said that, “INEC has accredited 58 observer groups deploying a total of 2,242 field observers, including 45 media organisations with 340 journalists for the poll.”
He noted that 593 polling units in the FCT were without registered voters, 1,328 polling units with between 1-50 voters and 546 polling units with over 1,000 registered voters.
Yakubu therefore declared that the election would not take place at the polling units without registered voters. He added that materials were not produced for these units and no personnel will be deployed there.
He added that the commission reviewed the performance of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the recent Anambra State Governorship election. He said the commission learnt lessons from the election which would be considered in planning for the area council election.
Yakubu said the BVAS had been configured and ready for deployment for the elections.