INEC warns of security concerns ahead of governorship polls in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed worry over the spate of insecurity and violence, including clashes among supporters of political parties and candidates ahead of the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States slated for Saturday, November 11, 2023.

INEC disclosed this in a statement signed by its national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, on Sunday in Abuja.

The nation’s electoral body called on parties to urge their supporters against actions capable of jeopardising the peaceful conduct of elections in the country.

The statement reads in part: “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 also highlighted its preparedness for the upcoming elections, with one of the key issues being the slow upload of the list of party agents by all political parties.

Despite reminders, the Commission said only 55 per cent of the expected total of 189,180 polling unit agents have been uploaded to the designated INEC portal, and only 25.1 per cent of the expected 15,804 collation agents have been uploaded.

“However, despite this notice and subsequent reminders, Political Parties are yet to substantially comply by submitting the list of their agents. For Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States, only 55 per cent 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 per cent) for Bayelsa State; 51,681 out of 85,644 (60.3 per cent) for Imo, and 23,720 out of 63,144 (37.6 per cent) for Kogi State have been uploaded.

“Similarly, only 25.1 per cent of the expected 15,804 Collation Agents in the three States have been uploaded: 1,246 (26.0 per cent) out of 4,806 for Bayelsa; 1,638 (27.3 per cent) out of 5,994 for Imo, and 1,095 (21.9 per cent) 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 10th October 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,” he added.

INEC stressed that the portal will automatically shut down at midnight on Tuesday, October 10, and there will be no extension.

On the online accreditation of journalists, the Commission said online accreditation commenced on August 24 and will close on October 22.

“So far, 45 media organisations have applied for accreditation, and the Commission is encouraging all interested media organizations to take advantage of the remaining window to apply on imap.inecnigeria.org before the deadline. Late applications will not be entertained, and there is no provision for manual accreditation anymore,” INEC said.

The Commission also appealed to all political parties and candidates to avoid utterances and acts that may heat up the polity.

It said it 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.

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