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Elections: INEC Says Polling Units With Records Of Violence Will Not Be Counted



Before Saturday’s off-cycle gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned politicians and political parties that it will not count votes from polling units where violence has been recorded.

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of INEC, stated this yesterday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State’s capital, while speaking to election stakeholders during a meeting in preparation for the November 11 gubernatorial election.

Yakubu declared that the commission would not hold elections in any polling unit if violence had occurred.

Similarly, Kayode Egbetokun, the Inspector-General of Police, warned anyone and groups preparing to disrupt the election to reconsider, stating that the police high command was prepared to deal with troublemakers harshly.

News About Nigeria noted that in the Yenagoa meeting, Yakubu was represented by May Agbamuche-Mbu, the INEC National Commissioner in charge of the states of Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, and Rivers. She stated that every Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) that would be used for the elections has been specially designed for INEC.

Agbamuche-Mbu declared that the BVAS contained INEC information and that INEC had the list and serial numbers of every BIVAS question.

“I’d like to inform you that our BVAS has been customised for INEC, so INEC information, as well as the names of the parties, are on the BVAS. As a result, any BVAS without INEC data cannot be from INEC.

“We also have a list of the BVAS serial numbers that will be used, and the result sheets will be signed at the polling stations.

“Wherever there is violence, it will be zero. We will not hold another election in that voting unit”, Yakubu stated.

Yakubu went on to say that INEC had recruited and carefully trained all categories of ad hoc staff who would be deployed to the polling stations and that all non-sensitive materials had been distributed to all of the state’s eight local government area offices, as well as voter education and sensitization.

He also stated that plans have been made for the transportation of workers and materials to guarantee that polling places open on time on election day.

Yakubu noted that INEC sent two National Commissioners and eight Resident Electoral Commissioners to Bayelsa to help supervise the process more effectively.

He finished by emphasising INEC’s commitment to holding a free, fair, and credible election on Saturday.