INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said 5,169,692 Nigerians who collected their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) are expected to vote in the off-cycle governorship elections in the three states.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, says all sensitive and non-sensitive materials for this Saturday’s off-cycle elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo State have been delivered.
The INEC boss made this known in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja ahead of the elections.
“We have delivered all sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the elections,” Mr Yakubu said.
He explained that in less than 48 hours, 5,169,692 Nigerians who collected their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) are expected to vote in the off-cycle governorship elections in the three states.
“This is the first time in our history that these elections are held on the same day and across three geo-political zones of the country: North-central (Kogi), South-east (Imo) and South-south (Bayelsa),” he said.
“We’ve no candidate in the election”
Mr Yakubu urged all officials (both regular and ad-hoc) deployed for the elections to demonstrate the highest level of patriotism and professionalism.
“As I said repeatedly, not least during my recent readiness assessment visits to the three States, INEC is not a political party and we have no candidate in the election.
“Our responsibility is to safeguard the process and ensure a level playing field for all political parties and candidates. The choice of who becomes the governor of Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States is entirely in the hands of voters,” he said.
Result to be uploaded on IReV
According to Mr Yakubu, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has been configured for deployment in Polling Units as the only means of voter verification and fingerprint/facial biometric authentication of voters.
“Polling Unit results will be uploaded to the INC Result Viewing (IRe) portal,” he said.
The INEC boss said all election duty officials have been trained and that arrangements have been made for land and maritime transportation to enable them to commence voting on schedule.
Despite the extremely difficult terrain and physical infrastructure in some locations, he said the commission is determined to ensure that its officials are there waiting for voters rather than the voters waiting for their arrival.
For these off-cycle elections, Mr Yakubu said the commission is deploying two national commissioners, nine Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and Administrative Secretaries (ASs) as well as additional staff from different states to each of the three states to support the process.
“They will be deployed across the senatorial zones in the states,” he added.
He emphasised that election is a multi-stakeholder responsibility, noting that as with every process, lessons have been learnt from recent elections.
“We will continue to ensure free, fair and credible and inclusive elections but INEC cannot do it alone. We have received assurances from the security agencies that the environment will be secure for electoral activities and all participants: voters, electoral officials, accredited observers, the media and polling/collation agents,” he said.
According to the statement, political parties and candidates have signed the peace accord under the auspices of the National Peace Committee (NPC).
“Let us maintain the peace and play our roles conscientiously. By doing so, we shall continue to consolidate our democracy,” Mr Yakubu said.