Friday, December 28, 2018


The Independent National Electoral Commission, has unveiled a special app that will allow every Nigerian to observe and report live from their polling units across the country. The app, which can be freely downloaded through the INEC website or Google Play Store, has geo-referencing features which can enable officials of the Commission identify wherever challenges may arise and alert security agencies to take charge in any part of the country.

According to Dr Mustapha Leeky, INEC’s National Commissioner, the app was developed to address the new phenomenon of “vote-buying” which partly characterized recent elections in some states of the federation. Leeky, who doubles as Chairman, Board of the Electoral Institute (BEI), made the disclosure on Thursday, in Abuja, while declaring a three-day workshop on Electoral Security Training of Trainers Workshop for State Training Officers opened. He said, “We have deployed something that most of you media men are paying little regards to. That is the fact, as at today, if you go to INEC website or Google Play Store you can download an INEC i-reporter which is something that INEC has spent a lot of money in developing.

“It allows every Nigerian to be an observer and a reporter of events as it happens, this you can download freely and have it on your smart phones, so you can take pictures, you can also take a short video and send it to us. It is geo-reference, so we know exactly where that issue is taking place and we can easily draw the attention of police or other security agencies to make sure that matter is actually addressed.”

“Our take on vote-buying has been well articulated at various fora like this. We abhor it; we think it is uncalled for, you do not need to sell your vote and you do not need to buy votes, INEC as an institution, we don’t buy votes and we don’t sell votes, we just count the votes. So we expect people to cast their votes freely. We have deployed a number of measures to ensure that vote buying does not interfere with our election.

“We have reconfigured the way our polling units and the ballot boxes are placed so that people cannot expose their votes, so that people can go and collect money afterwards. We have also banned the use of smart phones at polling booths so that you don’t take a picture and show to anyone,” he explained.

He said the workshop to train security personnel was inspired by the need to ensure the 2019 election is conducted in a hitch free manner.

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