We are well prepared for Edo, Ondo elections, says INEC

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said it had made adequate preparations for the Edo State governorship election scheduled for tomorrow.

The commission, which met yesterday to further review preparations for the Edo and Ondo states elections as well as all outstanding bye-elections, said all sensitive materials for the Edo poll had left the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Benin City for the various Local Government Areas in the state.

“Agents of the political parties involved in the election as well as those of the accredited observer groups observed the distribution of the sensitive materials,” the commission said in a statement.

INEC implored all the relevant stakeholders to continue to observe the distribution of the sensitive materials as they are moved further down the chain to the Registration Area Centres (RACs).

On the Ondo election, the statement said: “As a result of the disruption of normal processes in the electoral process occasioned by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission could not get the full complement of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members required as ad hoc staff for the poll scheduled for 10th October 2020. Consequently, the commission had to broaden its net to recruit the required ad hoc staff from tertiary institutions.”

The electoral body explained that when recently the NYSC authorities informed it that they were in a position to mobilize more corps members for the election, the portal for the recruitment had closed.

INEC said that after due consideration, and to restore the corps members to their role in the electoral process, it decided to allow the recruitment of some additional NYSC members. “A special link to the registration form has therefore been provided to NYSC authorities to be used for this purpose.”

The statement signed by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said INEC had earlier announced October 31, 2020, as the date scheduled for all outstanding bye-elections holding in 14 constituencies across 11 states.

“By the time table and schedule of activities issued by the commission, political parties conducted their primaries between 24th August and 8th September 2020 while the submission of the list of nominated candidates ended at 6 pm on 13th September. Today, 17th September is the last day for the publication of Form EC9 and the final list of candidates for the bye-elections scheduled for 31st October 2020,” the statement read.

The electoral body urged all stakeholders to support its efforts to deliver free, fair, and credible elections at all times.

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