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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, announced yesterday that a total of 46,084 permanent and temporary personnel have been prepared for electoral responsibilities in the off-cycle governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states, scheduled for November 11.
During a meeting in Abuja, Yakubu informed the state Resident Electoral Commissioners that the 18 political parties involved in the election would dispatch a total of 137,934 agents, consisting of 130,093 polling officers and 7,841 collation officers.
He announced that roughly 11,000 observers from about 126 national and international organizations have been granted accreditation for the election process.
He confirmed that the commission is now in the process of finalizing reports on both the 2023 General Election and the findings of its examination of the election.
According to his statement, the registered voter count for the three elections has reached 5,409,438.
There will be elections held at 10,510 polling units across 649 electoral Wards and 56 local government areas.
‘So far, all non-sensitive materials for the election have been delivered to the three states. Other preparatory activities, including training, are on course. Valuable lessons have been learnt from the 2023 General Election for improved performance in the forthcoming elections,’ he said.
Reviewing preparation for the polls, he said: ‘Last week, we conducted a mock accreditation involving actual voters in designated polling units in the three states. We had two objectives for the exercise.’
‘First, to test the efficacy of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for especially biometric authentication of voters. Secondly, to upload the result to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV). Both tests were successful.’
‘We look forward to improved performance of the BVAS in voter accreditation and result upload in the forthcoming elections.’
‘Although the portal for media accreditation closes on Tuesday 24th October 2023, we have received applications from 80 media organisations seeking to deploy 1,203 personnel made up of journalists and technical/support staff to report on the elections.’
‘We are also finalizing arrangements for vehicles and boats for land and maritime movement of personnel and materials.’
‘Such massive deployment requires a secure environment which is beyond our immediate responsibilities. As we said repeatedly, we are concerned about the prevailing insecurity and election-related violence in the three States.’
‘We have been reassured of adequate deployment by the security agencies. On our part, we will continue to deepen our engagement with the security agencies and more meetings are planned in the next few days.’
‘Similarly, the Commission will hold series of meetings with stakeholders at the national level in addition to ongoing engagements at State level.’