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Electoral commission clarifies position on use of smartphone


The Independent National Electoral Commission yesterday clarified its position on the use of phones and cameras during voting.

The electoral body urged Nigerians to shun any attempt by any individual or group to politicise what was purely a preventive measure.

It said there was nothing like banning the use of smartphone around the polling unit areas. The ban, it insisted that no voter would be allowed to use any recording device inside the voting cubicle.

The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, made the declaration yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

He was reacting to the statement credited to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, condemning INEC’s decision to ban the use of smartphones at polling booths.

According to Oyekanmi, Nigerians knew the challenge of vote-buying and vote-selling that characterised recent elections, a development he noted, prompted many stakeholders to call for innovative ways to tackle the problem.

Oyeklanmi said: “In consultation with other stakeholders, the Commission came up with new measures to solve the problem, one of which is to disallow the use of smartphones and other electronic devices in the voting cubicles on Election Day.

“In other words, INEC is not banning phones around the polling unit area, but the ban takes effect from the moment a prospective voter collects his or her ballot paper and enters into the voting cubicle to thumbprint and thereafter, drop the folded ballot paper into the ballot box.

“After that, the voter can have access to his or her phone.”

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