A smart card reader belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been reported stolen in Igarra, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State. The thief disguised as a youth corps member and made away with the machine during training.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, who confirmed the incident in a statement signed by the Administrative Secretary, Oscar-Less Amaechi, described it as a ploy to tarnish the image of residents in the area.
He, however, said the smart carder had not been configured for next Saturday’s governorship election across the state.
“The INEC is using this medium to send a warning signal to all those who may be planning to disrupt the commission’s process on election day to have a rethink because the law enforcement agents will descend on them,” the statement said.
In a related development, INEC has commenced the training of agents of all the 19 political parties that have fielded candidates for the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
The INEC Public Relations Officer in Edo, Mrs. Prisillia Sule, who disclosed this in Benin yesterday, said the commission was partnering with the International Republican Institutes (IRI) to conduct polling agent training.
She said the training would expose all the polling agents to fully understanding the election process.