INEC partners telcos to address network challenges

The Independent National Electoral Commission has stated that it is collaborating with major network service providers such as MTN, Glo, Airtel, and 9Mobile to address any issues that may arise during the elections.

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of INEC, stated this on Friday at the INEC media briefing in Abuja.

Yakubu also stated that the commission has taken adequate measures to fortify and protect its systems and processes from malicious attacks.

He added that INEC has extensive experience transmitting election results via the iREV, whereas the BVAS only requires an online process at the point of polling unit uploading.

"We have taken adequate precautions to fortify and protect our systems and processes. I must also state that we are leaving certain aspects of cyber security to ourselves because the walls have ears, but Nigerians can be assured that we are aware that our resources may be vulnerable to attacks, and we have taken precautions.

"In Nigeria, we have extensive experience transmitting results in real time. We successfully transmitted results for 105 constituencies across the country. Please be assured that we are aware of the challenges and have the capacity within the commission to respond to them.

"After all, the BVAS is not an electronic voting machine; it will not operate online on election day. It is completely unavailable. When we transmit results from the Polling Unit and we are ahead of the game, we need a little bit of internet connectivity, he explained.

On the issue of the omission of the Labour Party logo on House of Representatives ballot papers in Lagos, the INEC chairman said, "The commission has a record of obedience to court orders.

"So, we've already tasked our legal department with reviewing all of the judgments we've been receiving, which have been arriving almost every day.

"The party you are talking about in one day alone served on INEC 70 processes on the nomination of candidates and in Lagos, on Federal Constituencies alone, we accepted the nomination of candidates for 13 out of 24 Federal Constituencies from that party by court order. As a result, we will review the court order and respond accordingly."

In addition, Usman Baba, the Inspector General of Police, stated that 425,106 security personnel will be deployed for the elections to ensure a secure electoral process.

The IGP, who stated that the figure does not include members of the Nigerian Armed Forces, stated that the personnel were drawn from the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

The Federal Road Safety Commission, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Nigerian Correctional Service, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the Nigeria Immigration Service are among the others.

"We have 310,973 police officers, 51,000 Nigeria Security and Civil Defence personnel, 21,000 Federal Road Safety Corps personnel, 11,336 Nigerian Correctional Service personnel, 9,447 National Drug Law Enforcement Agency personnel, 350 Economic and Financial Crimes Commission personnel, and 21,000 Nigeria Immigration Service personnel," he said.

Baba also stated that orderlies assigned to Very Important People will be withdrawn during the elections, and that even if they escorted them to the polling places, they should remain at a safe distance for the VIP to vote before escorting them back.

"Just like in any other election, we expect our VIPs to drop their bodyguards/orderlies that are armed in escorting them to the polling stations. Even if they are escorting them, they should stop or remain at a safe distance so that the person can vote and leave with his aides.

"We do not expect our men to be in the polling booths. We've instructed our officers to comply. Those with VIPs have also been communicated with via our medium of communication," he said.

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