Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has given a new update on the commission’s level of preparation for the off-cycle governorship elections in the states of Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi.
5,169,692 Nigerians who obtained Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) in the impacted states were scheduled to visit their various polling places within the next 24 hours in order to choose their new governors.
The head of INEC stated that these elections are being held simultaneously in three different geopolitical zones in Nigeria for the first time in the nation’s history: North Central (Kogi), South East (Imo), and South-South (Bayelsa).
He urged all INEC employees, regular and ad hoc, to exhibit the utmost professionalism and patriotism, emphasizing that the Commission is not a political party and does not have a candidate running for office.
In a statement he personally signed, he stated, “Our responsibility is to safeguard the process and ensure a level playing field for all political parties and candidates.”
“Voters have complete control over who becomes the governor of the states of Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi.”
“All of the election-related materials, both sensitive and not, have been delivered. The only method for voter verification and fingerprint/facial biometric authentication at polling places is the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which is set up for deployment to polling places.
The INC Result Viewing (IRe) portal will receive the upload of the Polling Unit results. Every election official on duty has received training.
“Arrangements for both land and sea transportation have been made so that we can start voting on time. We are committed to making sure that our officials are there waiting for voters, not the other way around, despite the very challenging topography and physical infrastructure in some areas.
“The Commission is sending two National Commissioners, nine (9) Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), Administrative Secretaries (ASs), and extra staff from various states to each of the three states to assist with the process for these off-cycle elections. They will be placed throughout the United States’ senatorial districts.
“There are many stakeholders involved in elections. Recent elections have taught us lessons, as they always do. Although INEC cannot do it alone, we will keep working to ensure free, fair, credible, and inclusive elections.
“The security agencies have guaranteed us that all parties involved in the election process, including voters, elected officials, accredited observers, the media, and polling and collection agents, will be safe in this environment.
Under the direction of the National Peace Committee, political parties and candidates signed the peace agreement (NPC). Let’s keep the peace and fulfill our responsibilities with diligence. We will continue to solidify our democracy by doing this.