Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Ahead of the November 16 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday warned all political parties participating in the elections at the two states that the September 9 date for the submission of the governorship candidates remained sacrosanct.
The warning may not be unconnected to what happened in Zamfara and Rivers states in previous elections where INEC rejected the governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as having not been conducted in line with laid down processes.
In a bulletin obtained from INEC headquarters by THISDAY titled, ‘Conduct of Primaries for Nomination of Candidates’ for Bayelsa and Rivers Governorship Elections’, INEC stated clearly that “End date for the submission of lists of candidates and their Personal Particulars (INEC Forms CF001and CF002) remains September 9th.”
A statement signed by Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner for Information and Public Education called on participating political parties to send to it latest September 8 the names of contacts that would liaise with it for the submissions of the political parties governorship candidates on Monday September 9.
The bulletin further stated that all the political parties contesting the November 16 governorship elections in the two states had concluded their primary elections latest by September 5th with all resolutions or disputes associated with the primaries settled.
INEC further warned in red ink that all political parties contesting in the elections, “are enjoined to ensure compliance with these timelines as no extension or late submissions will be entertained.”
Also, INEC in red ink stated that the total number of uncollected PVCs for Kogi State stood at 170,644 while that of Bayelsa State was 49, 291.
In the same bulletin, INEC said that the commission had commenced the distribution of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) on the September 2 2019, and the exercise would last till the 30h day of September 2019.
The commission said that the distribution would commence between 9.00a.m to 3.00 p.m. (Monday to Friday).
INEC said that the Resident Electoral Commissioners of the two states would provide contacts and telephone numbers where registered voters that had not collected their PVCs could call and make inquiries relating to the collection
To facilitate easy collections of the voters cards, the Commission would send bulk SMS to the registered voters in the two States that were yet to collect their PVCs and would also display the list of registered voters that were yet to collect their PVCs at the respective State and Local Government offices of the Commission and at other designated public places
Meanwhile, the commission said that results of the gubernatorial election would be transmitted manually.
Reacting to question from THISDAY, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyakanmi said that the law mandates the commission to operate a manual transmission of results.
He said, “The 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) do not recognise electronic Transmission of Results. The Commission will follow the prescription of the law”, which he said is to be transmitted manually in line with the extant laws guarding elections in Nigeria.
It was gathered that INEC spoke out to avoid the controversy that is trailing the results of presidential election where the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar claimed that the results were transmitted electronically.
Meanwhile, the PDP gubernatorial appeal committee headed by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus yesterday commence hearing of the appeals filed by Senator Dino Melaye and Abubakar Ibrahim against the election of Musa Wada as the Party’s governorship candidate.
By INEC guidelines, the appeal must be heard and determined on September 5. The appeal committee at press time was hearing the appeals at the National Working Committee (NWC) hall of the PDP.
PDP is expected to issue certificate of returns to the winners of the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship primary elections after hearing the appeals. The winners of the primary elections are Senator Duoye Diri of PDP in Bayelsa and Musa wada of PDP in Kogi State.