The Jigawa State Independent Electoral Commission (JISIEC) has ruled out the use of card readers for the Local Government Council Elections slated for June 26.
In an interview with newsmen in Dutse, on Sunday, JISIEC’s Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Ibrahim, said the commission would have loved to use card readers but wouldn’t, due to time constraints coupled with the fact that the staff who are supposed to do the job have not been trained on how to use them.
“In the issue of card readers, honestly, we are not prepared to use the card readers now. It is an electronic system and the person who is supposed to use it has to be trained and time is against us,” Ibrahim said.
He disclosed that the polls would cost the state about N1 billion, although he didn’t give a breakdown of the electoral budget.
“The budget is almost one billion naira and we are the state with the lowest budget because we planned to minimise our spending due to the situation that we are in, and what we have is very adequate for us to conduct the elections.
“We have our election budget, so whatever we are going to execute at a time we just have the fund to do the job.
“We don’t have any problem with the funding. We are well funded and we are ready for the election God-willing”, he added.
Meanwhile, he said the commission’s priority was to organise free and fair elections without disenfranchising any eligible voter irrespective of whether card readers were used or not during the elections.
He assured residents of the state that the election would be conducted in all the 27 council areas.
“We have 287 wards in the 27 Local Government Areas of Jigawa State and we have 3,527 polling units. The commission also has about 11,357 ad-hoc staff that would be involved in the elections.
“As of now, we have 18 political parties that have indicated interest to participate in the elections and I know others are coming.
The main parties are the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and some others,” Ibrahim said.
He assured that all the political parties would be given deserved attention and equal treatment, throughout the electoral process.
The chairman also announced that the sales of nomination forms for the office of the Chairmen and Councillors would commence from Monday, May 24, while the screening of the candidates would be conducted thereafter.
Meanwhile, the commission fixed N500,000 as nomination fees for the office of chairman and N250,000 for the office of councillor.
By Victor Uzoho
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