A head of the general elections in 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has unveiled a special app that would enable Nigerians observe elections and report live from polling units.
The app, which can be freely downloaded through the INEC website or google play store, has geo-referencing features which can enable officials of the commission identify wherever challenges may arise and alert security agencies to take charge in any part of the country.
According to Dr. Mustapha Leeky, INEC’s National Commissioner, the app was developed to address the new phenomenon of “vote-buying” which partly characterised recent elections in some states of the federation.
Leeky, who doubles as chairman, Board of the Electoral Institute (BEI), made the disclosure on Thursday, in Abuja, while declaring open a three-day workshop on Electoral Security Training of Trainers Workshop for State Training Officers.
He said, “We have deployed something that most of you media men are paying little regards to, that is the fact, as at today, if you go to INEC website or google play you can download an INEC i-reporter, which is something that INEC has spent a lot of money in developing.
“It allows every Nigerian to be an observer and a reporter of events as it happens. This you can download freely and have on your smart phones, so you can take pictures, you can also take a short video, and send it to us.
“It is geo-referenced, so we know exactly where that issue is taking place and we can easily draw the attention of police or other security agencies to make sure that matter is actually addressed.”
On the new phenomenon of vote-buying which allegedly characterised recent elections, the INEC commissioner said the commission had deployed a number of measures to ensure it did not interfere with the electoral process in 2019.
“Our take on vote-buying has been well articulated at various fora like this. We abhor it, we think it is uncalled for; you do not need to sell your vote and you do not need to buy votes.
“INEC, as an institution, we don’t buy votes and we don’t sell votes, we just count the votes.