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HomePoliticsCredible elections only possible in peaceful atmosphere, INEC Chair tells politicians

Credible elections only possible in peaceful atmosphere, INEC Chair tells politicians

Credible elections only possible in peaceful atmosphere, INEC Chair tells politicians

Credible elections only possible in peaceful atmosphere, INEC Chair tells politicians

ABUJA—Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission has cautioned political parties and followers to allow peace to enable the commission conduct of free and fair governorship elections in Kogi Imo and Bayelsa on Nov. 11.

Yakubu made this appeal at the INEC Quartet Consultative Meeting with Leadership of Political Parties on Tuesday in Abuja, ahead of the forthcoming off cycle governorship polls in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa States

“As electioneering campaigns continue to intensify, the Commission reiterates its concern 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,” INEC boss said.

He recalled that the last meeting reviewed the conduct of the 2023 General Election as part of the wider consultation with stakeholders.

According to him, the commission has finalised the review report as well as the main report of the General Election, saying “As soon as they are finalised, we will, as usual, share the reports with you, other stakeholders and the public”.

Yakubu said that the subject matter of the meeting was on the ongoing preparations for the three off-cycle Governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States scheduled to hold on Nov. 11.

“With just a little over two weeks to the election, we are at the concluding stages of our preparations. This is the first time that the Commission will be conducting three off-cycle Governorship elections simultaneously across different geo-political zones.

“This is made possible by the coincidence of the end of tenure of the current holders of the offices which fall within the constitutional timeframe of not earlier than 150 days or later than 30 days before the expiration of their terms of office as enshrined in Section 178(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“The Commission has delivered all non-sensitive materials for the elections to the three States. 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. Stakeholder engagements are ongoing.

“Our State offices have concluded the readiness assessment of our facilities as well as the movement of critical facilities to our 56 Local Government offices across the three States,” he added.

Yakubu added that political parties had uploaded the names of their polling and collation agents to the dedicated web portal.

According to him, a total of 137,934 agents made up of 130,093 polling and 7,841 collation agents have already been uploaded to the portal.

“However, not all the political parties have nominated agents for all the polling units and even 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.

” I urge you to consider the submission of names of agents as important as the nomination of candidates for election,” the INEC boss said.

He said that the printing of agents’ identity cards would be completed this weekend.

Yakubu said that this would allow political parties ample time to distribute the cards to their agents.

“All the identity cards are QR Code-readable to ensure maximum security and to avoid impersonation by unaccredited persons,” he said.

On the issue of candidature, INEC Chairman said that the Commission was concerned 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,” Yakubu said.

Shadanpama reporters report that the meeting was attended by the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Chairmen and Leaders of Political Parties, National Commissioners, the Secretary to the Commission and Other Senior Officials of the Commission.

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