The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has listed measures taken for the conduct of the Governship election in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo States on November 11 this year.
Speaking today, October 24, at the quarterly consultative meeting with representatives of the political parties in Abuja, Professor Yakubu said that the Commission has already delivered all non-sensitive materials for the elections to the three States.
According to him, the training of various categories of ad hoc staff is ongoing.
“We have made the soft copies of the complete register of voters available to all political parties participating in the elections.
“We conducted the mock accreditation of voters and the upload of results to our IReV portal using the BVAS.”
He said that the Commission’s State offices have concluded the readiness assessment of the facilities as well as the movement of critical facilities to the 56 Local Government offices across the three States.
“At the same time, political parties have uploaded the names of their polling and collation agents to the dedicated web portal. As I informed Nigerians at the meeting with our Resident Electoral Commissions (RECs) last week, a total of 137,934 agents made up of 130,093 polling and 7,841 collation agents have already been uploaded to the portal.”
Professor Yakubu said that so far, not all the political parties have nominated agents for all the polling units and the collation centres in the three States.
“In the next few days, the Commission will publish the detailed distribution of agents uploaded by all political parties for public information.”
The INEC Boss advised the parties to consider the submission of names of agents as that they should regard as important as the nomination of candidates for election.
He said that
the printing of agents’ identity cards will be completed this weekend to allow political parties ample time to distribute the cards to their agents.
He said that all the identity cards are QR Code-readable to ensure maximum security and to avoid impersonation by unaccredited persons.
Professor Yakubu however, expressed concern about the spate of recent judgements and orders of court in respect of the nomination, substitution or disqualification of candidates after all the sensitive materials have been printed.
“The reprinting of the materials in compliance with court orders within a short period of time is not only expensive but the management of the process very challenging. “Although the Commission has already published the final list of candidates for the three States, four recent court orders have compelled us to review the list. “These changes have been reflected in the updated list of parties and candidates on our website.
“However, this decision is without prejudice to any pending appeal by the affected candidates or their political parties.”
Professor Yakubu is also worried about
about the spate of violence in the three States involving parties and candidates.
“I wish to remind you as party leaders that free and fair elections are only possible in an atmosphere of peace. “After all, election is a process involving human beings as voters, election officials, observers and the media whose safety is of paramount concern to us. While we will continue to work with the security agencies in this regard, political parties acting individually or collectively through the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) also have an obligation to impress on your members, candidates and supporters to maintain peace during the campaign rallies and procession.
“I urge you to also appeal to them to maintain the same disposition on Election Day and beyond.”