Offcycle Elections: INEC Resumes CVR For Edo, Ondo, Briefs Political Parties

Chairman, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu
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By Akombo Aondona, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday 13 May 2024 says it has resume the continued voters registration (CVR) ahead of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

Chairman, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu stated this at the second regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties for the 2024 held at the Commission conference room INEC headquarters Abuja.

Prof. Yakubu said: “Today’s meeting will update party leaders on preparations for the Edo and Ondo State Governorship elections. As you are aware, the Edo State Governorship election is holding in the next four months on Saturday 21st September 2024 while the Ondo Governorship election holds in the next six months on Saturday 16th November 2024.

“The Commission has already published the final list of candidates for the Edo State Governorship election following the conclusion of party primaries and the end of the period for withdrawal and substitution of candidates as provided in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election. Campaign in public by political parties commenced on Wednesday 24th April 2024 and will end at midnight on Thursday 19th September 2024 i.e. 24 hours before the date fixed for the election as provided by law. Let me therefore seize this opportunity to once again reiterate to party leaders the need to continue to maintain law and order during the electioneering process and beyond. As we inch closer to Election Day in Edo State, it is also imperative to remind political parties of the need to adhere strictly to the timeline for the upload of the list of polling and collation agents to the dedicated portal. Doing so will enable the Commission to produce and deliver the identity cards in good time for the expected 76,823 Polling Unit agents and 3,587 Ward, Local Government and State collation agents for the 17 political parties participating in the election.”

The INEC chairman continued: “Turning to Ondo State, political parties have just concluded their primaries. Eighteen (18) political parties conducted primaries monitored by the Commission. I wish to remind you that parties have one week to the deadline for the nomination of candidates which is 6.00pm on Monday 20th May 2024 when the portal automatically shuts down. I urge you to adhere strictly to the deadline. Political parties have been given 23 days (over three weeks) from the end of primaries to prepare and submit the list of only two candidates (Governorship candidate and running mate) to the Commission. There will be no extension of time.

” As the elections in the two States approach, the Commission has decided to resume the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in the two States to enable eligible citizens who are not registered voters to do so. Similarly, those who are registered voters also have the opportunity to transfer their registration from other States of the federation to Edo and Ondo States or from one location to another within the two States. Let me reiterate that the CVR is only open to new registrants and those who seek to transfer their registration. Persons who are registered as voters should not attempt to register again as double or multiple registration is illegal. Lost or damaged voters’ cards will be replaced during the exercise but this does require fresh registration. The CVR in Edo and Ondo States will take place simultaneously from Monday 27th May 2024 to Wednesday 5th June 2024 from 9.00am to 3.00pm daily including the weekend.

“Taking into consideration the limited time to the Governorship elections, the Commission has decided to conduct the registration at Ward level and our State headquarters instead of our Local Government offices and a few designated centers as was case in the past. This means that there will be 192 Ward registration centres in Edo State and 203 centres in Ondo State, in addition to our State offices in Benin City and Akure, making a total of 397 walk-in registration centres in the two States. There will be no online pre-registration option in the two States because of time constraint. Each centre will be managed by two officials drawn from our regular staff and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). In the next few days, the Commission will commence the training of at least 794 officials for the exercise. The locations of the registration centres as well as other relevant information have been compiled in a detailed 28-page document included in your folders for this meeting. The same information will be uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information shortly.

“The Commission therefore appeals to political parties and other stakeholders to join us in mobilising prospective registrants for the exercise, particularly on the need to register early and not wait until the deadline approaches when the registration centres are inundated by eleventh hour registrants.

“In addition to the registration of voters, the Commission will also make available the uncollected Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) for collection during the CVR. In the coming days, the list of uncollected PVCs will be published in our offices in the two States and simultaneously uploaded to our website. Again, we encourage those who have not collected their PVCs in the two States to seize the opportunity to do so.

” Before I conclude, I would also like to inform party leaders about the existence of vacancies in National and State Assemblies caused by either death or resignation of Honourable Members in three States and one Federal constituencies across the country. As soon as preparations are concluded, the Commission will announce the dates for bye-elections in Khana 2 State Constituency of Rivers State, the Bagwai/Shanono State constituency of Kano State, the Zaria Kewaye State Constituency of Kaduna State and the Garki/Babura Federal Constituency of Jigawa State.”

Also speaking, the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, and Allied People’s Movement,APM National Chairman, Yusuf M Dantalle, said: “This month, specifically 29th May, 2024 marks the One Year anniversary of the current elected officers, 25 years of uninterrupted democracy since the restoration of civil rule on 29th May, 1999. Sixty four Years of Political Independence and One Hundred and One Years of the formation of a Political party.

“The question is, How far have we gone in deepening/strengthening democracy in Nigeria?

“It is food for thought and calls for sober reflection in the quest for a strong, united, progressive, equitable and just democratic nation.

“Our hard earned democracy must be sustained. It should not be allowed to derail by the activities of anti-democratic and reactionary forces.

“INEC, leaders of Political Parties, civil society organizations, security agencies, Judiciary, The Press and citizens must be firm and decisive in protecting the nation’s democracy and forestall political upheavals as we currently have in some parts of the country.

“We condemn in strong terms politics of bitterness, do-or-die politics and divisive politics that have tendencies of undermining our emerging democracy.

“It is unacceptable! Politicians must abide by democratic ideals, ethics and ethos, and desist from inflammatory utterances and actions that could impede our constitutional government. More importantly, political parties must adhere strictly by their constitutions in conducting congresses, primaries and conventions. The high expression of interest and nomination fees charged by some political parties should be reviewed despite being internal affairs of the parties. IPAC will continue to engage party leaders on this among; others that will curb imposition of candidates and boost internal democracy as we strive to make Nigeria better.”


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