The last set of materials being dispatched are ballot papers and envelops. Since the President of the Republic convened the electorate for October 7, Elections Cameroon officials and other stakeholders are leaving no stone unturned. Territorial Administration Minister, Paul AtangaNji has reiterated government’s determination to hold elections in all the 360 sub-divisions of the country despite threats from armed secessionist groups in the North West and South West Regions.
The Yaounde 101 Military Airbase is as busy as a beehive as electoral materials destined for different regions are being dispatched by ELECAM team. When your reporter stopped by at the airbase, hundreds of cartons containing ballot papers and envelops were being loaded in trucks for the East Region. On each carton was written Presidential election of October 7, 2018, the name of the Region, Division, Council area, name of the polling station, number of registered voters in the polling station, number of envelops and ballot papers. Less than a month to polling day, almost all electoral materials have been dispatched to the regions by Elections Cameroon.
Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) officials in charge of receiving the materials, packaging and dispatching to the various regions did not want to be named but said the ballot papers and envelops were the last materials to be sent to the field. They said all the materials were already on the field ahead of the October 7, 2018 presidential election. To deliver the materials on time, over 800 people had been recruited to carry out the various tasks at the Yaounde 101 Military Airbase where the ballot papers and campaign materials printed by the Cameroon News and Publishing Corporation (SOPECAM) and the different types of envelops printed by the National Printing Press have been assembled. Other materials such as the electoral kits, polling booths, waste paper bags, indelible ink, and materials for lighting such as kerosene lamps that were stocked at the airbase had already been dispatched to the field.
In three of the five canopies put up at the airbase for the electoral materials, there was anthill movement as the workers counted the ballot papers, parcelled them per candidate in envelops and packed in cartons. In some of the canopies both the packaging of ballot papers and ballot envelops were taking place simultaneously. Once these items were ready in the cartons, other members of the team took the relay by sealing the cartons and parking them in two of the canopies reserved for the purpose. Close sources said this was just a stage in the process because the cartons have to be taken to warehouse where they are thoroughly checked before being dispatched to the field.
Officials of ELECAM and workers in charge of packaging and dispatching the electoral materials on August 30, 2018 received a greater impetus and the need to accelerate work when the Chairperson of the Electoral Board of ELECAM, Enow Abrams Egbe, accompanied by some Electoral Board members and the Director General of Elections, Erik Essoussè paid an inspection visit to the airbase. During the visit, the head of the Logistics, Transport and Dispatching sector of the Airbase, Dipita Jean Lucien did not only take the ELECAM team to all the localities where the materials were stocked but more importantly explained the procedures. Materials found at the Airbase by then included electoral kits, polling booths, waste paper bags and campaign materials, envelops and badges, among others.