The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday unfolded plans to use Biometric Voter Form for the governorship election in Anambra State on Saturday.

Its Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, said any voter without a genuine Permanent Voter Card (PVC) will not be allowed to vote.

The INEC boss, who spoke in Awka, the state capital, said all sensitive materials will be distributed at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office tomorrow.

Yesterday, Police Inspector General Usman Baba clarified that the heavy security deployment to the state was neither meant to intimidate nor scare voters.

He said the motive was to checkmate hoodlums and ensure safety of voters.

Members of the Abdulsalami Abubakar-led Peace Team are expected in Awka today for the signing of peace pacts by the parties accredited for the poll.

Yakubu, who said the polling materials are in Anambra and Imo States, spoke at an interactive session with governorship candidates and other stakeholders.

He said the materials were safe, adding that a day to the election, the commission would  invite candidates, media, election monitors and other stakeholders to witness their deployment to local government areas.

He said: “The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Anambra State has just briefed us on our detailed preparations for the election, including logistics and the recruitment, training and deployment of election duty staff.

“Non-sensitive materials have been delivered to the 21 Local Government Areas. The sensitive materials are secure in the branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) here in Awka.

“As is always the case on the eve of major elections, INEC will invite political parties, civil society organisations and the media to the CBN tomorrow Thursday 4th November 2021 to inspect the sensitive materials and to witness their movement to the various Local Government Areas under security escort.

“By the same arrangement, the materials will be delivered to the Registration Areas or Wards on Friday 5th November 2021 to facilitate the opening of Polling Units at 8.30am on Election Day i.e. Saturday 6th November 2021.

“I want to assure all voters in Anambra State that in designing the sensitive materials for the election, the Commission has introduced additional visible and invisible security features, including different colour codes.

“Materials have also been customized by Local Government Areas and Polling Units.

“We are also determined to prosecute perpetrators of electoral malpractice, including any election duty staff found to be complicit. The choice of the next Governor of Anambra State is in the hands of the eligible voters and their will must prevail.”

The INEC chairman said Anambra State will make history because the Commission will deploy the Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) device.

“This new device replaces the Smart Card Reader (SCR) used in previous elections since 2015. We are satisfied with the pilot deployment of the BVAS in the Isoko South I State Constituency Bye-election in Delta State on 11th September 2021.

“ The BVAS has the dual capacity for fingerprint and facial authentication of voters.

“This is to guard against voting by identity theft where one person uses another person’s Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to vote using the incident form. With this development, the use of the incident form is abolished. No voter without a genuine PVC will vote.

Detaild later

NATION