The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) remains troubled by the series of court orders it has received in the days leading up to the off-season governorship elections scheduled for November 11 in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa states. This concern was expressed during a quarterly consultative meeting with political parties at the INEC headquarters in Abuja. INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, outlined the challenges these court orders have posed to the election process.
INEC is compelled to reprint sensitive election materials due to these court-ordered changes in candidate nominations, substitutions, and disqualifications. This has not only incurred additional expenses but also introduced significant management challenges. Despite having already published the final list of candidates for the three states, four recent court orders have necessitated revisions, leading to an updated list of parties and candidates on INEC’s website. However, this decision is made without prejudice to any pending appeals by the affected candidates or their political parties.
In preparation for the elections, INEC has delivered all non-sensitive materials to the three states and is actively conducting training for various categories of ad hoc staff. The complete voter register is available in digital form to all participating political parties, and the names of polling and collation agents have been uploaded to a dedicated web portal. A total of 137,934 agents, comprising 130,093 polling agents and 7,841 collation agents, have been uploaded, but not all political parties have nominated agents for every polling unit and collation center. The commission will soon release a detailed distribution of agents nominated by all political parties for public information.
To ensure secure elections, the printing of agents’ identity cards will be completed soon. These identity cards are QR code-readable, ensuring maximum security and preventing impersonation by unauthorized individuals.
In light of escalating violence involving parties and candidates in the three states, INEC emphasizes the need for peaceful electioneering campaigns and encourages party leaders to create an atmosphere of peace, as free and fair elections can only thrive in such conditions.