The Independent National Electoral Commission says it has delivered all non-sensitive materials for the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Thursday in Lagos during the Anniversary Colloquium marking the Press Week of the Lagos State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme for the colloquium, organised to mark the second anniversary of the incumbent executive of the state NUJ, was, ‘Ensuring Credible Off-season Elections in Nigeria.’
Yakubu, represented by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said all the sensitive materials would be delivered one month before the election in November.
The INEC chairman added that the commission had made available for collection all uncollected Permanent Voter Cards, pointing out September 30 was deadline for the exercise.
Yakubu, however, noted that some concerns of possible violence had been raised about the forthcoming Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, given the violence that led to the declaration of inconclusive elections in the two states in 2015.
“Therefore, politicians in Bayelsa and Kogi must shed the toga of political violence associated with elections in the two states.
”The commission will continue to work with security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security to provide adequate security for all our elections.
“Nigerians deserve and should always have free, fair and credible elections. INEC owes the nation and Nigerians a duty to ensure that votes count.
“The present commission has demonstrated this commitment in all the elections it has conducted, in spite of multiple challenges.
“Ultimately, the commission’s ability to organise credible elections also depend on the cooperation of all stakeholders in the electoral process and the strict adherence to the rules of the game.
“The commission will continue to ensure that votes count,” he noted.
Also speaking at the colloquium, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, represented by Mr. Tijani Ismail, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Electoral Matters, said there were widely-held views that Nigeria was gradually moving towards an era where the media will exert greater influence on the electoral process.
He commended the media for enlightening the citizens on elections, noting that due to media efforts, many citizens are now educated about the electoral process.