The Commissioner for Information and Voter Education of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Festus Okoye, has said the commission is going to have talks with the Central Bank of Nigeria to try and resolve issues concerning the storage of election materials.
In June, INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, had stated that sensitive election materials would no longer be “routed” through the apex bank. as the “current circumstances”, would require an alternative by the body for its storage solutions.
This follows the controversy surrounding the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele’s political ambition for the top seat of the nation.
However, in an interview on Channels Television’s show, Sunrise Daily, Mr Okoye warned that INEC was in for a logistics nightmare if it doesn’t have a form of parley with the CBN over its election materials storage issues.
“It’s going to be a huge logistics nightmare. What we intend to do going forward since there are issues with keeping our materials with CBN,” he said.
“We have not had enough opportunity to sit down with the Central Bank to review the entire issue surrounding our moving our material with the Nigerian Air force.”
“We are definitely going to do that. If at the end of the day, we are not satisfied with the arrangement then we are going to look for a new logistics pathway for how to manage logistics during the 2023 elections. But no decision has been made.
Okoye also insisted that the recently concluded elections in Ekiti and Osun governorship storage measures will not be tenable going into the general elections in 2023.
“You cannot use the Ekiti governorship election and Osun governorship election as a measure of what will happen in 2023,” he said.
“This is because for instance, in the Ekiti governorship election, we had less than a million registered voters. In the Osun governorship election, we were shy of two million registered voters.
“These are stand-alone elections. For the Ekiti election, we utilised the service of the Nigerian Air force and they flew the materials into Akure airport. We did the same thing with the Osun election, and we moved the materials to our state offices.
“But for the 2023 general election, we are going to have over 95 million ballot papers printed for the presidential election. Over 95 million will be printed for the senatorial election; over 95 million papers will be printed for the house of representatives election. Then it goes down.”