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INEC worried over violent actions ahead of Kogi, Imo, Bayelsa guber polls



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday expressed concerns about the escalating insecurity in the states ahead of the governorship elections on November 11 in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi.

The commission urged political parties and their candidates to refrain from acts and statements that could inflame the political climate in a statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun.

Olumekun said, “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 jeopardising the peaceful conduct of elections in Nigeria.

“INEC earnestly appeals 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.”

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Olumekun also stated that despite this notice and subsequent reminders, political parties had yet to substantially comply by submitting the list of their agents.

He explained, “The commission notified all political parties of the opening of its online portal for the upload of the list of polling units and collation centre agents, which commenced on Thursday 24th August 2023. The commission thereafter engaged party representatives on the methodology for a seamless process.

“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% 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%) for Bayelsa State; 51,681 out of 85,644 (60.3%) for Imo, and 23,720 out of 63,144 (37.6%) for Kogi State have been uploaded

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

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