The Independent National Electoral Commission will deploy technological innovation to check any security threats on its personnel and facilities during the November 6 Anambra governorship election, its Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said on Friday.
According to him, the deployment of a security application was necessary, following the attacks on its facilities in recent times.
He stated this in an interview with journalists after declaring open a retreat to review the operationalisation structure of the Election Monitoring and Support Centre, which was held in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
The event was organised by INEC in collaboration with the European Centre for Electoral Support.
Saturday PUNCH reported that INEC had recorded over 41 deliberate attacks on its facilities across the country within the last two years.
Yakubu said the technology would be integrated into the 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 elections are conducted, there 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 use technology.
“These tools have been of tremendous benefit, 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.”
He explained that reviewing such a technology would assist INEC 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 could not effectively comment on its provisions until the lawmakers concluded the legislative process on the bill.
He, however, stated that 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 from the National Assembly for us to effectively comment,” he said.
The ECES Project Coordinator, Hamza Fassi-Fihri, represented by its Senior Electoral Administration Expert, Dr Isiaka Yahaya, assured the public that the EMSC had come to stay as an “indispensable and integral part of Nigeria’s electoral system.”
Yahaya said the platform was also a process to be exported by election management bodies in the African region and beyond.