INEC worried over security situation in Imo, Bayelsa, Kogi

Ahead of the November 11 governorship elections in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has expressed deep concern at the wave of insecurity in the three states.

Consequently, the commission has again appealed to political parties and their candidates to avoid actions and utterances capable of heating up the polity.

“The commission is concerned about the spate of insecurity and violence, including clashes among supporters of Political Parties and candidates in the forthcoming elections.

“In our engagement with political parties, the commission has constantly called on parties to rein in their supporters from actions capable of jeopardizing the peaceful conduct of elections in Nigeria.” INEC earnestly appeal to all political parties and candidates to avoid utterances and acts that may heat up the polity.

” The commission will continue to closely monitor the situation and sustain its engagement with security agencies and stakeholders to ensure a peaceful conduct of elections in the three states,” INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, said in a statement yesterday.

He also noted that the commission had notified all political parties of the opening of its online portal for the upload of the list of polling units and collation Centre agents, which commenced on Thursday, August 24, 2023.

He said the commission, thereafter, engaged party representatives on the methodology for a seamless process.

Olumekun lamented that despite this notice and subsequent reminders, political parties were yet to substantially comply by submitting the list of their agents.

“For Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States, only 55% of the expected total of 189,180 polling unit agents have been uploaded to the designated INEC portal.

” Specifically, 29,278 out of the expected 40,372 (72.5%) for Bayelsa State; 51,681 out of 85,644 (60.3%) for Imo, and 23,720 out of 63,144 (37.6%) for Kogi State have been uploaded.

“Similarly, only 25.1% of the expected 15,804 Collation Agents in the three States have been uploaded: 1,246 (26.0%) out of 4,806 for Bayelsa; 1,638 (27.3%) out of 5,994 for Imo, and 1,095 (21.9%) out of 5,004 for Kogi State.

“The commission hereby wishes to further remind political parties that the portal will automatically shut down at 12:00 midnight on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.

” There shall be no extension. Consequently, all parties sponsoring candidates for the elections that are yet to upload the list of their agents should do so before the deadline for the exercise.

“The online accreditation of Journalists commenced on August 24, 2023, and will close on October 22, 2023. So far, 45 media organizations have applied for accreditation.

” The commission also wishes to use this medium to encourage all interested media organizations to take advantage of the remaining window to apply on before the deadline on October 22, 2023.” For emphasis, late applications will not be entertained and there is no provision for manual accreditation anymore,” he added.

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