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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that out of the 19 registered political parties in the country, only six will participate in the upcoming Ebonyi South Senatorial by-election slated to hold February 3.
This was disclosed by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ebonyi State, Pauline Onyeka Ugochi, during an interactive session with the Media and Civil Society Organizations in the state.
He said: “Out of the 19 registered political parties in Nigeria; only six conducted congresses and primaries as monitored by the Commission for the By-election.”
She listed the six parties as Action Alliance (AA), Action Democratic Congress (ADC), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), All Progressives Congress (APC), Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Onyeka said that the six political parties conducted their primaries to elect their senatorial candidates between 6th and 9th January 2024 following the timetable for the by-election.
She said: “The Bye-Election is occasioned by the appointment of the Senator representing the senatorial District in the Senate, Senator David Nweze Umahi as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his subsequent resignation from the Senate.
“This is in fulfillment of the provision of the law, which states that a bye-election shall be conducted to fill any vacant elective position occasioned by death, resignation, recall, or appointment into a different office.”
The REC noted that the by-election should be conducted in the five local government areas of Afikpo North, Afikpo South, Ivo, Ohaozara, and Onicha that constitute Ebonyi South Senatorial Zone.
She added that the Senatorial District has a total of 436,254 registered voters.
She said the election will take place in the 57 Registration Areas (RAs)/Wards and 870 Polling Units in the senatorial district.
Onyeka, however, stressed that only those who have their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) would be allowed to vote.
The REC said that about 3,662 ad-hoc staff will be required for the by-election.
She stated: “This comprises Returning Officers, LGA Collation Officers, Supervisory Presiding Officers, RATECHs and Local government Supervisors, Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers.
“The number of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) required for verification and authentication of voters for the Bye-Election has been selected and will be configured for deployment to the five (5) LGAs at the appropriate time.
“Non-sensitive election materials are being selected and arranged LGA by LGA for deployment to the LGAs as well, while the sensitive ones are being expected from Abuja.”
On security, Onyeka said INEC is making adequate security arrangements to ensure the security of electoral personnel and materials before, during, and after the by-election.
She commended the media for effective coverage and unbiased reportage of INEC activities in Ebonyi State, and the CSOs for adequate sensitization and enlightenment of the public for active participation in the electoral process.