The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday threatened to excluded some political parties from fielding polling unit agents in the forthcoming elections.
The reason adduced for the proposed action is the inability of some of them to meet the deadline and requirements for the submission of particulars of their agents.
The Commission’s warning came after a Friday meeting of Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from all the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja
Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of the commission in a Saturday statement said INEC had met to further review its state of readiness for the general elections starting on the 16th February 2019 with the Presidential and National Assembly Elections and ending on 2nd March 2019 with the Governorship and State Assembly Elections.
The statement read in part:
“The Commission is concerned that a week after the deadline for the submission of the list of poll agents for Presidential and National Assembly elections and less than three weeks to the deadline for the submission of the list of candidates for the Governorship and State Assembly elections, only few political parties have complied with the extant provisions of the law. Most of the lists submitted are not accompanied by the photographs and specimen signatures of the poll/party agents as required by law.
‘The Commission has decided as follows: All political parties that submitted incomplete applications without the specimen signatures and photographs of the poll/party agents are strongly requested to regularize this on or before close of work on Monday the 11thFebruary 2019.
“All Political Parties are reminded that February 16, 2019 is the last day for the submission of the names, photographs and specimen signatures of poll/party agents for the Governorship, State Assembly and Area Council elections.
“Any list of poll/party agents that is not accompanied by specimen signatures and photographs of poll/party agents will be rejected.
“It is unlawful for political parties to deploy poll/party agents whose names have not been forwarded to the Commission and duly accredited in accordance with the law. The security agents have been so informed and no recognition, right or privilege will be accorded to anyone not accredited by the Commission”.