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Entertainment - News - October 8, 2023

Off-cycle Elections: INEC Speaks On Plans To Extend Deadline For Polling Agents

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has no plans to extend the October 10 deadline for political parties to upload the list of their agents for polling units and collation centres for the November 11 Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo governorship elections.

INEC National Commissioner and the Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Olumekun said with less than 72 hours to the deadline, only 55 per cent of expected agents for polling units and collation centres had been uploaded on its portal by political parties for the governorship election.

The INEC spokesman, therefore, advised political parties yet to comply to do so before the deadline.

Olumekun said that INEC notified all parties of the opening of its online portal for the upload of the list of polling units and collation centre agents, which commenced on Aug. 24.

He added that the commission, thereafter, engaged party representatives on the methodology for a seamless process.

Olumekun said that in spite of the notice and subsequent reminders, parties were yet to substantially comply by submitting the list of their agents.

He said: “For Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi, only 55 per cent of the expected total of 189,180 polling unit agents have been uploaded to the designated INEC Portal.

“Specifically, 29,278 out of the expected 40,372 (72.5 per cent for Bayelsa; 51,681 out of 85,644 (60.3 per cent) for Imo, and 23,720 out of 63,144 (37.6 per cent) for Kogi State have been uploaded.

“Similarly, only 25.1 per cent of the expected 15,804 Collation Agents in the three States have been uploaded: 1,246 (26.0 per cent) out of 4,806 for Bayelsa; 1,638 (27.3 per cent) out of 5,994 for Imo, and 1,095 (21.9 per cent) out of 5,004 for Kogi.

The commission hereby wishes to further remind political parties that the portal will automatically shut down at 12:00 midnight on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

“There shall be no extension. Consequently, all parties sponsoring candidates for the elections that are yet to upload the list of their agents should do so before the deadline for the exercise.

On the online accreditation of journalists for the election, Olumekun said that late applications would not be entertained after the Oct. 22 deadline and there shall be no provision for manual accreditation.

He said that so far 45 media organisations had applied for the online accreditation of journalists which commenced on Aug. 24 and shall close on Oct. 22.

The commission also wishes to use this medium to encourage all interested Media organisations to take advantage of the remaining window to apply on imap.inecnigeria.org before the deadline on Oct. 22,” he said.

Olumekun expressed the commission’s worry about the spate of insecurity and violence, including clashes among supporters of political parties and candidates in the forthcoming elections.

He appealed to all political parties and candidates to avoid utterances and acts that might heat up the polity or jeopadise peaceful conduct of the election.

He said: “In our engagement with political parties, the commission has constantly called on parties to rein in their supporters from actions capable of jeopardising the peaceful conduct of elections in Nigeria.

“INEC earnestly appeal to all political parties and candidates to avoid utterances and acts that may heat up the polity.

The commission will continue to closely monitor the situation and sustain its engagement with security agencies and stakeholders to ensure a peaceful conduct of elections in the three states.”

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