Off-Cycle Governorship Elections: INEC Gears Up with Extensive Staff, Observer Deployment - The Top Society

Off-Cycle Governorship Elections: INEC Gears Up with Extensive Staff, Observer Deployment

TOPSOCIETYNG

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has revealed plans for the upcoming off-cycle governorship elections scheduled for November 11 in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states.

In a recent meeting with state Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja, Prof. Yakubu announced that a total of 46,084 regular and ad hoc staff would be deployed to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections.

Highlighting the magnitude of the operation, Prof. Yakubu disclosed that 18 political parties would be participating in the election, with a staggering 137,934 agents set to be deployed.

These agents comprise 130,093 polling officers and 7,841 collation officers, underlining the comprehensive preparations made by the commission to guarantee transparency and fairness during the electoral process.

Read also: INEC Issues Warning on Rising Threat of Fake News in Elections

Furthermore, the INEC Chairman emphasized the importance of robust oversight, revealing that 126 national and international organizations have been accredited to collectively deploy 11,000 observers. Their role will be crucial in ensuring that the election adheres to international standards and is conducted with utmost integrity.

INEC

In a significant development, Prof. Yakubu shared that the commission is in the final stages of compiling reports on both the 2023 General Election and the outcomes of its comprehensive review.

He said:

“In the next three weeks, off-cycle Governorship elections will be held in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States. The three elections will involve 5,409,438 registered voters who will vote in 10,510 polling units spread across 649 electoral Wards in 56 Local Government Areas.

“So far, all non-sensitive materials for the election have been delivered to the three States. Other preparatory activities, including training, are on course. Valuable lessons have been learnt from the 2023 General Election for improved performance in the forthcoming elections.

“Last week, we conducted a mock accreditation involving actual voters in designated polling units in the three States. We had two objectives for the exercise. First, to test the efficacy of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for especially biometric authentication of voters.

“Secondly, to upload the result to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV). Both tests were successful. We look forward to improved performance of the BVAS in voter accreditation and result upload in the forthcoming elections.

As we spare no effort in other aspects of our preparations for the Governorship elections, the Commission intends to allocate a combined sum of 46,084 regular and ad hoc personnel for the election.

“We have so far accredited 126 national and international organisations collectively deploying 11,000 observers for the election.

“Although the portal for media accreditation closes on Tuesday 24th October 2023, we have received applications from 80 media organisations seeking to deploy 1,203 personnel made up of journalists and technical/support staff to report on the elections.

Yakubu further stated:

“The 18 political parties participating in the elections are deploying 137,934 agents made up of 130,093 polling and 7,841 collation agents. We are also finalizing arrangements for vehicles and boats for land and maritime movement of personnel and materials.

“Such massive deployment requires a secure environment which is beyond our immediate responsibilities. As we said repeatedly, we are concerned about the prevailing insecurity and election-related violence in the three States.

‘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 in the next few days.

“Similarly, the Commission will hold a series of meetings with stakeholders at the national level in addition to ongoing engagements at the state level.”

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