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Saturday, November 11, 2023, has been fixed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States’ governorship elections.
In a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by INEC national commissioner and chairman, the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, he said the tenure of the incumbent governor of Imo State ends on 14th January 2024 while those of Kogi and Bayelsa States end on 26th January 2024 and 13th February, 2024 respectively.
Okoye said at its weekly meeting held Tuesday, the commission approved the timetable and schedule of activities for the governorship elections.
He said the decision was in fulfillment of the requirement of Section 28(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 which mandates INEC to publish the notice of election not later than 360 days before the date fixed for the election proper.
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‘Similarly, Sections 178(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 mandates the commission to conduct such elections not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of the last holder of the office.
‘The tenure of the incumbent governor of Imo State ends on 14th January, 2024 while those of Kogi and Bayelsa States end on 26th January, 2024 and 13th February, 2024 respectively.
‘Accordingly, the commission has decided to conduct the three elections on Saturday, 11th November, 2023,’ Okoye said.
He added that the statutory notice for the elections would be published in the three states on 14th November, 2022.
Okoye also said that party primaries will be held from 27th March to 17th April, 2023 while the online portal for the submission of nomination forms (EC9 and EC9B) by political parties opens at 9.00am on 24th April, 2023 and closes at 6.00pm on 5th May, 2023.
He said, ‘The final list of candidates will be published on 9th June, 2023 while campaign by political parties commences on 14th June, 2023 and ends at midnight on 9th November, 2023.’
Meanwhile, INEC chairman, prof. Mahmoud has called on security agencies to train their operatives assigned for election duties on the Electoral Act.