Journalists barred as INEC moves sensitive electoral materials to LGs in Ogun



Contrary to the announcement made by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ogun State , Prof.

Abdulganiyu Raji, on Tuesday that journalists would be allowed to witness the sorting and movement of the sensitive election materials to the local governments in the state , officials of Central Bank of Nigeria in Abeokuta on Thursday barred newsmen from the exercise.

The newsmen who had besieged the CBN Abeokuta branch located along IBB Boulevard , Oke – Ilewo , Abeokuta , as early as 8 :am , were shut out of the bank ’ s facility where the sensitive materials were kept .

The REC had, on Tuesday during a stakeholders ’ meeting held at the Commission’ s headquarters office in Abeokuta , invited newsmen to witness the sorting and movement of the materials from CBN to various local governments on Wednesday .

The REC during the meeting had also said the Independent National Electoral Commission would begin movement of sensitive election materials to all the local government areas of the state on Wednesday (today ).

But , when the newsmen got there as announced , they were shocked as the security agents at the entrance of the Apex bank refused them access into the facility.

After hanging around for hours, the REC emerged from the facility and was swamped by newsmen.

When asked why newsmen were barred from monitoring the sorting of the electoral , materials , he said he was only obeying the directive he got from the apex bank .

He further explained that it was the CBN authority that gave the directive to shut out journalists .

“ We have been here since 8 am .

I heard the Central Bank of Nigeria officials have addressed you (newsmen) .

“ The directive we received from the headquarters of Central Bank through its governor was that no pressmen should be allowed into their facility , you know it is a private facility .

“The last time , we allowed you in; but now , they don’ t want their vaults to be uncovered .

“ We are dispatching the materials to each local government .

In the next one to two hours , we shall start the process . We want to arrange it properly to ease the distribution .

“ I am not hiding anything .

You can see the security men ,

international observer , African Union , domestic observer , all political parties’ chairmen in the state are here. So , we have nothing to cover ; just that we want to obey the directive of the CBN.

“ If I want to cover anything , I won ’ t call on the Press . I was told you were outside and I decided to talk to you . ”

When asked if the Commission was ready for next Saturday ’ s elections, the Resident Electoral Commissioner said the Commission was fully prepared for the election .
He said , “We are ready for this election , although some states received their materials late .

For us in Ogun , we have no such case . We have received our materials at the appropriate time . ”

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