Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of next year governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, has urged political parties to respect provisions of the law in choosing their candidates.
Chairman, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, during a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners insisted that the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) have come to stay.
On the performance of BVAS, Yakubu said that the commission had reviewed the optimization of BVAS during the last governorship election in Anambra state, adding that there would be a tremendous improvement leading to optimal performance in future elections.
Yakubu said the electoral body was convinced that the introduction of technology in voter accreditation and result management is better than the best entirely manual process.
He stressed that the commission will continue to deepen the use of technology in our elections.
On the Ekiti and Osun governorship polls, the Yakubu said, “The Commission wishes to remind political parties that in choosing their candidates for these elections, they must abide by the provisions of the law, INEC’s regulations and guidelines as well as their Constitutions and guidelines.
“INEC will monitor the primaries as required by law. Political parties must therefore hold themselves to the same high standard of free, fair, transparent and credible elections that they expect from INEC during general elections.”
He said any political party that fails to conduct democratic primaries within the timeframe provided in the Commission’s timetable and schedule of activities cannot be expected to submit the names of candidates to INEC for elections.
Yakubu announced the completion of the second quarter of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), exercise, stressing that the third quarter of the exercise would commence in January next year.
He continued, “The Commission is aware that Nigerians would like to know when the exercise will be devolved beyond our State and Local Government offices to enable more citizens to register.
“Second, for those already registered, they would like to know when their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) will be available for collection. The Commission is working on these concerns and issues and will issue a comprehensive schedule for both activities early in the new year.”
On the Area Council Polls in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Yakubu said about 14,665 representing 34.1 per cent multiple registrations were detected and rejected, adding that the number of new valid registrants in the FCT is 28,321.
He said a total of 42,986 Nigerians completed their registration in the FCT
He said with the Automatic Biometric Identification System (ABIS), INEC has been able to weed out multiple registrants.
“Added to this figure are requests for transfer of registrations to FCT, replacement of lost or damaged PVCs, and update of voter records, making an overall total of 39,208 new PVCs to be printed. I am glad to report that all the PVCs will be available for collection from 6th January 2022 until 4th February 2022.
“The FCT Office of the Commission will provide full details of the locations and procedure for the collection of the PVCs in earnest.”
He, however, urged all new voters to seize the opportunity to collect their voters’ cards ahead of the deadline and avoid last-minute rush that characterized such exercise in the past.