From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it has concluded the distribution of sensitive materials to the 23 Local Government Councils in Benue State.

INEC Head of Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Organizations in Benue State, Emmanuel Okpe who confirmed this during an interview with  247ureports in Makurdi assured that the Commission is prepared to conduct the Saturday rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Mr Okpe stated the logistics and operational problems which hampered last Saturday’s conduct of the elections have been adequately addressed.

According to him, INEC commenced distribution of sensitive materials on Wednesday and by 9am on Thursday, the last truck of sensitive materials left Makurdi to Konshisha and Gwer East LGAs.

“So, INEC at the headquarters and particularly in Benue here is fully ready to go out on the 23rd of February to conduct the elections.

He however lamented that the shift in the elections had attendant cost implications on the Commission as well as inconveniences on the part of Nigerians.

Following the postponement, card readers were called from the field and reconfigured to be used on the 23rd. He said they have equally been sent back to the local governments for use on Saturday.

The INEC Head of Voter Education said the Commission is making arrangements including security measures to ensure that Communities currently under attacks by herdsmen in the state are provided with alternative voting options.

He says the new measures are being contemplated following renewed attacks on some Communities in Agatu and Guma Local Government areas.

Mr. Okpe also dispelled rumours making rounds that Voting Centers earlier designated by INEC for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, have been cancelled.

He rather explained that proper arrangements have been made for IDPs who have Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs to vote and they have been informed accordingly.