As preparations commenced in earnest for November 11th governorship election in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states respectively, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has guaranteed early deployment of sensitive materials to polling units, including adhoc officers camping near polling units a day before the exercise.
The commission also expressed readiness to conduct the election stating that has put a lot of plans in place to ensure a glitch free election.
INEC Acting Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mary Nkem, gave this assurance at a People’s Townhall on Election Security in Abuja.
Nkem said “Rather than people moving from the local government headquarters to the various polling units, they are moved closer to the PUs (polling units) where they are going to work. So, I can assure you that, God willing, we will deploy early”.
The IGP has also assured voters and stakeholders in the three states that adequate security will be made available to ensure safe and peaceful polls.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on INEC to ensure the early arrival of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials during the November 11, 2023, governorship polls in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states in order to avoid electoral violence.
Also speaking at the People’s Townhall on Election Security in Abuja, PDP National Organising Secretary, Umar Bature, charged the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to identify perpetrators of electoral violence in the three states.
He said, “In my opinion, the ring leaders of these crises in these areas should be identified before Friday to further deflate this violence.
“Coming to INEC, one of the key issues that brings violence is the late arrival of election materials. Sometimes, it is a strategy with the political party that is stronger in the area. They (INEC officials) bring election materials late so that the election can drag late into the night, and that brings about violence.
The issue of election materials coming on time is key, and now the police are deploying officers and identifying these ringleaders in all the areas that we have identified as flashpoints.
“There are people who are already planning for violence. So, the security agencies should look at the template they have so that before they act, they are already there to protect the voters.”
Meanwhile, Bature said if President Bola Tinubu sustained his assurance that he has no candidate in the polls, the level of violence would be noticeably reduced before, during, and after the polls.
Hafsoh Isiaq is a graduate of Linguistics. An avid writer committed to creative, high-quality research and news reportage. She has considerable experience in writing and reporting across a variety of platforms including print and online.