Less than 24 hours to the Presidential election in the country, some essential polling unit officials have withdrawn in some areas in Imo State considered to be prone to insecurity.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu announced this today, February 24, at the final media briefing before the election.
“The Commission is aware of the situation in Imo State in the South Eastern part of the country where it was reported that some of the critical polling unit officials drawn from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) have withdrawn their participation from some Local Government Areas as a result of the perennial insecurity.
“From the report we received from our State office, concerns have been expressed about the security situation in Osu Local Government Area, five Wards in Okigwe and six in Orlu.
“However, we have been assured that with enough mobilisation of security personnel to the area, it is possible for elections to hold in these locations.”
Professor Yakubu said that the Labour Party (LP) has provided satisfactory evidence of the death of its candidate for Enugu East Senatorial District and that the Commission has suspended the election in the district as provided by Law.
“We have already communicated this decision to our Enugu State office. “Therefore, there will be no senatorial election in Enugu East Senatorial District made up of six Local Government Areas, 77 Wards and 1,630 Polling Units. The election will now be combined with the Governorship and State Assembly elections holding in the next two weeks on 11th March 2023.
“Materials already delivered for the senatorial election will remain in the custody of the Central Bank in the State until the new date for election.”
INEC chairman expressed satisfaction with the progress being made on the movement of materials to the various locations around the country.
“Having deployed these materials to the Local Government Areas, we are today devolving the deployment to the Registration Area Centers (RACs) so that early morning tomorrow the polls will open as planned.
“These RACs have been activated and election duty staff have started arriving in them.
“Generally speaking, the situation nationwide is calm as far as our preparations are concerned. There has been no incident involving the personnel or huge quantities of materials deployed by the Commission. Voter enthusiasm is high and so too is our determination to conduct credible elections.
“Tomorrow is Election Day. All campaigns, rallies, processions and media advertising by candidates for Presidential, Senatorial and Federal Constituencies for Presidential and National Assembly Elections ended at midnight yesterday.
“Voting begins at 8.30am and ends at 2.30pm tomorrow. However, any voter who is on the queue before 2.30pm will be allowed to vote even if voting goes beyond the official closing time. No voter will be disenfranchised.
“I wish all Nigerians a pleasant voting experience tomorrow. We have established a Situation Room here at the National Collation Centre. Our INEC Citizens’ Contact Centre (ICCC) is already up and running. Nigerians can contact us on our well published social media handles live and direct on Election Day.”