Bayelsa Guber: We'll obey court order on Sylva's candidacy-- INEC - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Bayelsa Guber: We'll obey court order on Sylva's candidacy-- INEC

Barely 10 days to the scheduled governorship election in Bayelsa State, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday, said that it would obey court judgement relating to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Timipre Sylva.

The Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Obo Effanga, expressed the position of the electoral body on the matter, at a stakeholders' meeting that was convened in Abuja by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room.

The aim of the meeting was 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 judgement of the Federal High Court, it  would however abide by any pronouncement from the appellate court.

"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," the REC added.

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.

Mr. 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.

"All the polling units are located in public places and facilities. The process for the transmission of results of the election has not changed. When the results are recorded in the Form EC8A, party agents will sign and get a copy. After then, 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," he added.

He stressed that the Voters Register to be used for the election has been in existence since 2011. 

"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 turnout for the election.

"We have made efforts to sensitise the voters and we are also collaborating with Civil Society Organizations," the Bayelsa REC stated.

On his part, the REC for the Kogi state gubernatorial election, Dr. Hale Longpet, who equally joined the meeting virtually, 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, Dr. Longpet identified insecurity in the state as a major source of concern for the electoral body.

"We have identified flashpoints that pose 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 and intimidation or threat," the Kogi REC stated.

He said that INEC had earlier embarked on a massive sensitisation exercise, with the messages translated in 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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