The Guild of professional bloggers in Nigeria said it has opened an election situation room where up to speed information could be filed in by its members across the country for re-evaluations as dissemination.
A statement signed by its president, Chris Nwandu was quoted as saying that the action was taken in order to avoid the spread of fake news and a fake result that has characterized elections in Nigeria essentially on social media in the past hence putting such mechanism in place to check the vices.
“We call on stakeholders to avail themselves with the situation room for accurate information before dissemination”
Nwandu said the guild is also using this means to call on all Nigerians to troop out en-mass to cast their votes in today and subsequent elections and also make sure that their votes actually count.
Meanwhile, the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is requesting voters to be peaceful and orderly before, during and after today’s election
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, who spoke at a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday, said voting would be by Continuous Accreditation and Voting System (CAVS) procedure and a voter would only be allowed to vote if his/her name is on the Register of Voters and after the verification of the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and authentication of his/her biometrics by the Smart Card Reader (SCR).
He said other stringent measures are in place to combat the menace of vote-buying and other sundry electoral malfeasance, saying the Commission, with the support of the security agencies, was determined to extirpate the scourge from the electoral process by prosecuting anyone arrested.
Yakubu also warned under-aged voters to stay away from the elections, warning that anyone less than 18 years old caught standing to be accredited or voting would be arrested.
He stressed: “Under-aged voting is illegality because there is a statutory age for eligibility for registration as a voter. If on election day, you find anyone that is apparently under-aged, or conclusively so, kindly report this to any official of the commission or the security agencies.
“Working with the Inspector General of Police, any under-aged person caught trying to be accredited or voting on the election day will be arrested. Voting is only open to Nigerian citizens above the statutory age of 18 (years).
“Let me use this opportunity to warn those who may want to sponsor under-aged persons to vote on election day that they will be arrested.”
According to him: “The sorting and counting of ballots will take place at each polling unit, while the first stage of the collation process takes place at the Registration Areas.
“From there, collation and declaration will take place at designated Local Government Areas result from collation and declaration centres for Federal Constituencies and Senatorial Districts, while the final collation and declaration of Presidential election results will be done at the National Collation centre in Abuja.”
He disclosed that the commission had engaged 825,543 ad hoc staff ranging from Presiding Officers to Collation and Returning Officers for today’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.