The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has deployed 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states to support the respective RECs in preparation for the governorship elections. INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced the deployment ahead of the elections scheduled for tomorrow.
The breakdown of the deployment includes nine RECs for each of the three states, with three RECs assigned to each senatorial district. Additionally, two National Commissioners, Administrative Secretaries, and extra staff from the headquarters have been sent to Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi to support the electoral process.
Security agencies, including the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Department of State Services (DSS), and the Nigeria Police, issued warnings to potential election saboteurs. They emphasized their commitment to deploying strength and force, particularly against those with fake military uniforms or engaging in actions that could disrupt the polls. The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, ordered the posting and redeployment of 40 senior police officers to various commands and formations in the country.
The INEC chairman highlighted that within less than 48 hours, 5,169,692 Nigerians holding Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) are expected to participate in off-cycle governorship elections. This marks the first time in Nigeria’s history that off-cycle elections are held simultaneously across three geopolitical zones: North-central (Kogi), South-east (Imo), and South-south (Bayelsa).
Yakubu called on INEC officials, both regular and ad-hoc, to demonstrate patriotism and professionalism. He reiterated INEC’s commitment to safeguarding the electoral process, ensuring a level playing field for all political parties and candidates.
The chairman stated, “The choice of who becomes the governor of Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states is entirely in the hands of voters. We have delivered all sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the elections. Polling unit results will be uploaded to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal. All election duty officials have been trained.”
He emphasized the determination to overcome challenges such as difficult terrain and physical infrastructure, ensuring officials are ready for voters. Yakubu urged all stakeholders, including political parties, candidates, and the media, to maintain peace and contribute to the success of the elections.