The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Tuesday, vowed to obey the court judgment of the Court of Appeal on the candidacy of Timipre Sylva in the November 11, 2023 election.
Naija News gathered that the Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Effanga, stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting that was convened in Abuja by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room.
The meeting aimed to assess INEC’s level of preparedness for the upcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states.
The Bayelsa REC, who participated virtually, said though the Commission did not publish Sylva’s name as a candidate for the election owing to the judgment of the Federal High Court, it would, however, abide by any pronouncement from the appellate court.
He said, “We have to ensure that we obey every court order on the matter. On whether he (Sylva) would be restored as a candidate for the election, that will be taken care of.”
He disclosed that whereas there are 1,056, 862 registered voters from the eight Local Government Areas in Bayelsa State, the Commission recorded over 96% Permanent Voters Card, PVC, collection.
Effanga further revealed that while the state has 405 Wards, the election would be conducted in 2,242 polling units in the state.
He said the Commission had since trained all the ad-hoc staff it intends to deploy for the governorship election, among whom he said included some persons with disabilities.
According to him, to guarantee security during the election, the Nigeria Police Force assured that it would deploy 27,000 officers for the poll.
The REC added, “All the polling units are located in public places and facilities. The process for the transmission of the results of the election has not changed. When the results are recorded in Form EC8A, party agents will sign and get a copy. After that, poll officers will take a snapshot and the result will be uploaded to the IReV portal.
“It is important to make this clarification that the IReV portal is not a collation platform or center.
“Some of the persons in it may actually be dead. Not all the dead persons have been removed from the register. Some may have also left the country with the recent Japa syndrome. However, we hope that many people will turn out for the election.
“We have made efforts to sensitize the voters and we are also collaborating with Civil Society Organizations.”
The REC for the Kogi state gubernatorial election, Hale Longpet, while speaking at the meeting, disclosed that whereas there are 1,932,654 registered voters in the state, a total of 1,833,160 PVCs were collected.
While assuring of INEC’s preparedness for the impending poll, Longpet identified insecurity in the state as a major source of concern for the electoral body.
He said, “We have identified flashpoints that pose a security challenge for the election. We have prepared something like a map. You will recall that six of our ad-hoc staff members were kidnapped during the National Assembly elections.
“However, the security agencies have given us the assurance that they will provide adequate security and that every voter will have a pleasant experience without intimidation or threat.”
He said that INEC had earlier embarked on a massive sensitization exercise, with the messages translated into all the major languages in the state.
He further revealed that INEC had since received the necessary funds it would need to conduct all the off-cycle elections.
In his remarks, the Convener of the Situation Room, Mr. Y. Z. Ya’u, said the essence of the meeting was to create a platform for critical stakeholders to hear directly from the RECs, regarding their preparedness for the forthcoming elections.
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