The Jigawa State branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday restricted journalists from accessing the bank premises to monitor the distribution of sensitive materials for the Saturday, March 18 gubernatorial elections.
Journalists were left stranded and denied access to the area where the distribution of sensitive materials was taking place.
Unlike the normal procedure where journalists are allowed to witness the distribution of sensitive materials at the CBN, as part of their responsibility to ensure free and fair elections, security personnel prevented them from entering the premises.
Speaking to the newsmen at the entrance of the Dutse branch of the bank, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof Muhammad Lawal Bashar, told journalists: “If not for the CBN restriction on us, we would have invited you to enter inside to see the distribution of the sensitive materials but you can see them being evaluated from this premises to local governments.”
He said INEC decided to commence the distribution of the materials early to ensure that they reached polling units without delay.
DAILY POST reported that the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections didn’t commence in some polling units until late in the afternoon due to the delay in the deployment of election materials.
According to Prof Bashar: “To my knowledge, everything went okay [but for some] some hiccups, because you can not say everything went well 100%; human factors are there.
“We are well prepared and we have started moving the materials, the ad hoc staff movement will start as early as 10 o’clock on Friday to their respective local governments and there will be a refresher training by 4:00 pm after [which] they will start moving to the polling units.”