By Sunday Akintoye
The Chairman, Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, on Thursday said the commission would deploy 3,000 infrared thermometers for Edo and Ondo States governorship elections.
Yakubu said this at his first appearance at Presidential Task Force (PTF), on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja.
He said, while speaking on INEC preparations for the two states’ governorship elections that the thermometers were donated by PTF.
Yakubu said that the infrared thermometers would be used at the 3,000 voting areas in Edo state elections on September, 19,2020 adding that 17,000 ad hoc staff would be engaged in the election.
According to him, the same thermometers will be deployed for the Ondo elections.
“The PTF has recommended the deployment of infrared thermometers to be used on Election Day but as a result of budgetary constraints, INEC doesn’t have all the resources.
“The commission only made provision for the deployment of thermometers at collation centers, which are fewer than the numerous polling units.
“In Edo state, there are a total of 192 ward collation centres, 18 local government collation centres and one collation Centre but the polling units are many.
”We have almost 3,000 voting locations in Edo state.We simply don’t have the resources to buy the handheld thermometers and deploy them at polling units.
“Happily, PTF has supplied, initially 100 units of the thermometers which we deployed to Nasarawa.I am also glad to say that they have made available 3,000 thermometers to be deployed to the polling units in Edo State.
“I want to assure the PTF of the prudent use of these thermometers in Edo and we’ll move the same thermometers to Ondo for the governorship election on Octorber. 10,” he said.
Yakubu said that INEC had developed a policy on COVID-19 protocols to guide voters and electoral officials during elections.