June 8, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

36 hours to off-season gov’ship polls, tension mounts as INEC deploys 46,084 in Imo, Bayelsa, Kogi for 5.4mn voters

INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is deploying 46,084 regular and ad-hoc staff for Saturday’s governorship elections in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi states.
INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu, says this at a meeting with resident electoral commissioners (RECs).
He says the three elections will involve 5,409,438 registered voters in 10,510 polling units across 649 electoral wards in 56 local government areas.
In Imo, there is anxeity as Organised Labour has ordered workers in affiliate unions in the aviation sector to shut down Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport over the brutalization of Nigeria Labour Congress president Joe Ajero in Owerri.
The All Progressives’ Congress (APC, the sitting governor’s party seeking re-election) reportedly did not attend the customary “peace meeting” of parties I Owerri on Wednesday.
In Bayelsa, the APC is also smarting from a confusion created by a high court disqualification of its candidate and subsequent ousting of that order by a higher court only a few days ago.
Kogi has been volatile since out-going Governor Yahaya Bello brazenly caused disaffection in his ruling APC by anointing a candidate perhaps against majority wish.
Nevertheless, INEC chairman Yakubu says that so far, all non-sensitive materials for the elections have been delivered to the states.
He says INEC has so far accredited 126 national and international organisations collectively deploying 11,000 observers for the elections in the three states.
“The 18 political parties participating in the elections are deploying 137,934 agents made up of 130,093 polling and 7,841 collation agents. INEC has also finalized arrangements for vehicles and boats for land and maritime movement of personnel and materials,” the INEC chief adds.
However, Yakubu says that the commission is concerned about the prevailing insecurity and election-related violence in the three states where elections are taking place this week-end.
“We have been reassured of adequate deployment by the security agencies. On our part, we will continue to deepen our engagement with the security agencies, and more meetings are planned.”