Chuks Okocha in Abuja
With less than 16 days to the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday officially released the data of eligible voters in the two states as well as the Kogi West senatorial district elections taking place the same date being November 16.
According to INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, “Bayelsa State has eight local government areas, 105 Registration Areas (RAs), 1,804 Polling Units (PUs) and 923,182 registered voters of which
498,790 (54.3 percent) are male while 424,392 (45.97 percent) are female.”
He further stated that “the number of PVCs collected across the state as at September 30, 2019, is 889,308 (96.3 percent) with 33,874 (3.76) remain uncollected.”
For Kogi State, Yakubu said the “state has 21 LGAs, 239 RAs, 2,548 PUs while the number of registered voters is 1,646,350 of which 825,663 (50.1 percent) are male and 820,687 (49.9 percent) are female.
“The number of PVCs collected is 1,485,828 (90.2 percent) leaving 160,522 (9.8 percent) uncollected. The Commission will make available detailed figures of PVCs collected in each state by LGA and Registration Areas as part of our continuing effort to deepen transparency and accountability.”
The INEC chairman said copies of the data would be made available at the Commission stakeholders’ meetings in Yenagoa and Lokoja, adding that the same information will also be uploaded on the Commission’s website.
On the Nembe state constituency supplementary election in Bayelsa State, he said it would have been held seven months ago but for protracted litigation, and that it was finally settled by the Supreme Court.
Yakubu said the elections would take place in six polling units with a total of 2,076 registered voters.
On the Kogi West senatorial election, he said the total number of registered voters in the senatorial district is 432,515.
Meanwhile, Yakubu said all uncollected PVCs have been retrieved from LGA offices and deposited at the branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Bayelsa and Kogi States for safe keeping pending the resumption of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
The INEC chairman said at the end of the governorship primaries in both states, 45 political parties in Bayelsa State (42 male and three female) and 23 in Kogi (21 male and 2 female) would be on the ballot.
However, he said no political party nominated a Person with Disability (PWD) as its governorship candidate.
According to him, “We have already published the names of the candidates, their running mates and other details on our website. We have similarly re- published details of the 14 candidates for Brass 1 SC supplementary election in Bayelsa State and the 24 candidates for the Kogi West senatorial re-run election.
Yakubu further said the notice of polls and the last day for submission of names and addresses of polling agents by political parties is November 2, 2019, adding that it would be followed by the last day of campaign on November 14, 2019, and the election day which is November 16, 2019.
The INEC chairman disclosed that all non-sensitive materials for the elections have been delivered to Bayelsa and Kogi States, and have been appropriately put in batches in line with the Commission’s plans.
He added that the training of ad hoc staff has been intensive and concluded in Kogi State on Tuesday, while that of Bayelsa State concluded yesterday.
Yakubu further disclosed that each election duty official would also be issued with a letter of appointment which contains his/her responsibilities, remuneration, mode of payment and procedure to lodge complaint (if any).
He said: “Given the volatile nature of politics and elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States, the Commission decided to engage with stakeholders early and continuously. In addition to several focused engagements, we had major stakeholders’ meetings in the two states. We have planned another engagement with stakeholders in Yenagoa on November 7 and in Lokoja on November 11, 2019.”