The National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has announced that the commission is fully prepared to conduct the Edo governorship election scheduled to take place on September 19.
Prof. Yakubu disclosed this during a meeting with the Inter Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), in Benin. He also revealed that the INEC had effectively approved 10 out of the 14 activities on agenda for the poll.
“The whole purpose of this visit is to see firsthand the level of preparation. Yes, we received reports at the headquarters but we feel that it is important to come to Benin and see for ourselves what is on the ground. On Feb. 6, 2020, the commission released a timetable and schedule of activities for Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
“We gave seven and eight months notices for the Edo and Ondo elections respectively. And we itemised 14 activities in the timetable and schedule of activities to be carried out on specific dates beginning with the publication of the notice of election and ending with election day proper.
“I am happy to say that so far we have carried out of the 14 activities on schedule. Not one activity was rescheduled for a minute. The last one was the presentation of the voter’s registers to the 14 political parties fielding candidates for the election,” he stated.
The chairman added that the four exceptional activities are the publication of the notice of the poll which will be done on Tuesday, followed by the proposal of voting agents by the political parties on the same day. He also highlighted that the forthcoming Edo poll would be the first foremost election the INEC would be conducting during the coronavirus pandemic.
“End of the campaign which is by law 24 hours to campaign; so, campaign will stop by midnight of Thursday before the Saturday of election and then the election day itself. So, in terms of readiness, we are fully ready for this election. We test run the policy in small bye-election in Nasarawa state and we are ready with the big one in Edo.” said the chairman.
Furthermore, he also revealed that the commission had strategised a program that will direct them on how to conduct the election process during the pandemic. He assured that the INEC is committed to ensuring a safe environment for the nonviolent conduct of the poll, hence the meeting with the ICCES stakeholders and electoral officials in Edo. Yakubu noted that the commission would make the system open and clear.
Meanwhile, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Johnson Alalibo disclosed that the current number of registered voters in the state was 2,210,534 including 1,159,325 males and 1,051,209 females. According to him, the number of PVC so far collected is 1,735,910 while uncollected PVC is 483,868.
The commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, who is the co-chair of the ICCES, assured of adequate security during the election process.