Bayelsa, Kogi Guber Polls to Hold Nov. 2

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INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States will hold on Saturday November 2, 2019.

The electoral body in a statement Tuesday by its National Commissioner and Chairman Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye, said that the official notice for both elections would be issued on August 1, 2019, while political parties that intend to sponsor candidates are to hold their primaries for the nomination of such candidates from August 2 to 29, 2019.

He said, “The Commission at its meeting held today approved the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States, which will hold in both states on Saturday 2nd November 2019.

“Campaigns by Political Parties in public shall commence on 2nd August 2019 and end on 1st October 2019.

“The parties sponsoring candidates are required to submit the list of their agents not later than 2nd October 2019.”

Okoye explained that the stated timelines are in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), stressing that all stakeholders are urged to take cognizance of and adhere strictly to them.

He revealed that details of the timetable and schedule of activities for the election are on the Commission‘s website.

Meanwhile, the commission after its meeting Tuesday approved a proposal to conduct an extensive review and debriefing on the 20l9 general elections, in line with its existing practice.

The National Commissioner said that this was intended to evaluate the Commission’s performance of the key activities of the general elections, with a view to addressing identified challenges and strengthening operational and institutional capacities to conduct free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

He explained that the review would focus on the planning, organisation, conduct and coordination of the general elections, particularly on logistics, procurement and deployment of personnel and materials; continuous voter registration and collection of permanent voter’s cards; legal environment of the elections, particularly the legal challenges experienced over nomination of candidates and conduct of elections.

Okoye said the review would also focus on processes of party registration, party primaries and nomination of candidates; quality of ad-hoc staff; relationship between the commission and diverse stakeholders, including political parties, security agencies, civil society organisations, the media and development partners; and quality of inclusivity of the elections, particularly regarding persons with disability, lDPs and gender balance.

He noted that the two sets of activities are envisaged in the reviews as follows; internal reviews involving National Commissioners, Resident Electoral Commissioners, Electoral Officers, Collation and Returning Officers, as well as other key staff of the commission; review meetings with key stakeholders such as political parties, civil society organisations, security agencies, the media and development partners.

Okoye revealed that these reviews and debriefing would take place between May and June 20l9.

He added that the Commission had commenced work on a comprehensive report of the 2019 general elections and had mandated its Electoral Institute to undertake detailed researches into various aspects of the elections.

The National Commissioner said it was the commission’s hope that the outcomes of these reviews and studies would feed into further electoral reforms and its preparations for handling and future elections.