INEC Chairman Affirms Readiness: Off-Cycle Gubernatorial Elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States

In anticipation of the off-cycle governorship elections scheduled for Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yakubu Mahmoud, declares the electoral body’s preparedness.

In a statement released on Thursday, Yakubu emphasizes the commission’s commitment to ensuring a transparent and fair electoral process.

Materials Delivered: Logistics and Preparations

Yakubu assures that all sensitive and non-sensitive materials required for the elections have been successfully delivered to the respective states.

Despite challenges posed by difficult terrains and physical infrastructure, he highlights that arrangements for land and maritime transportation have been made to facilitate the timely commencement of voting by INEC officials.

Historic Simultaneous Elections: Unprecedented Occurrence Across Three Geopolitical Zones

This marks the first time in Nigeria’s history that off-cycle gubernatorial elections are held on the same day, spanning three geopolitical zones.

Yakubu underscores the significance of this simultaneous occurrence and emphasizes INEC’s dedication to upholding the democratic process.

BVAS Deployment: Voter Verification and Biometric Authentication

Yakubu reveals that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has been configured for deployment to polling units, serving as the sole means of voter verification and fingerprint/facial biometric authentication.

This technological advancement aims to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the voting process.

Multi-Stakeholder Responsibility: INEC’s Role and Collaboration

The INEC Chairman emphasizes that the responsibility of ensuring free, fair, and credible elections extends beyond the commission.

He urges INEC officials to demonstrate high patriotism and professionalism, emphasizing that INEC is a neutral entity without political affiliations or candidates in the election.

Deployment of Officials: National and Regional Support

For these off-cycle elections, INEC is deploying two National Commissioners, nine Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), and Administrative Secretaries (ASs), along with additional staff from different states to each of the three states.

They will be strategically placed across the senatorial zones to provide comprehensive support to the electoral process.

Security Assurances and Peace Accord: Collaborative Efforts for a Secure Environment

Yakubu acknowledges assurances from security agencies regarding the secure environment for electoral activities.

Participants, including voters, electoral officials, accredited observers, the media, and polling and collection agents, are expected to benefit from these security measures.

He highlights the signing of the peace accord by political parties and candidates under the auspices of the National Peace Committee (NPC) and urges all stakeholders to maintain peace and play their roles conscientiously.

Consolidating Democracy: INEC’s Commitment to Credible Elections

In conclusion, Yakubu reiterates INEC’s commitment to ensuring free, fair, credible, and inclusive elections. He emphasizes the importance of learning lessons from recent elections and calls for a multi-stakeholder approach to consolidate democracy in Nigeria.

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