The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the deployment of 46,084 staff for the upcoming governorship elections in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi states. This was revealed by the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, during a meeting with Resident Electoral Commission (REC) officials in Abuja. The commission has also accredited 11,000 observers from 126 national and international organizations for the elections.
Yakubu highlighted that the non-sensitive materials required for the elections have already been delivered to the three states. He emphasized that valuable lessons have been learned from the 2023 general election, which will enhance the commission’s performance in the forthcoming polls.
The governorship elections will involve a total of 5,409,438 registered voters across 10,510 polling units in 56 local government areas, covering 649 electoral wards.
Yakubu stated, “For the governorship elections, the Commission plans to deploy a total of 46,084 regular and ad hoc staff. We have already accredited 126 national and international organizations that will be deploying 11,000 observers for the election.”
He added, “Applications have been received from 80 media organizations seeking to deploy 1,203 personnel to report on the elections. The 18 political parties participating in the elections are deploying 137,934 agents, consisting of 130,093 polling agents and 7,841 collation agents. Furthermore, arrangements are being finalized for the movement of personnel and materials through vehicles and boats.”
Yakubu expressed concern about the prevailing insecurity and election-related violence in the three states. He stressed the need for a secure environment for the successful conduct of the elections. The commission has been reassured by the security agencies regarding adequate deployment. INEC will continue to engage with the security agencies and hold meetings with stakeholders at both national and state levels.
Regarding recent mock accreditation exercises in designated polling units, Yakubu explained that the commission aimed to test the effectiveness of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for biometric authentication of voters and result upload to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV). Both tests were successful, and the commission looks forward to improved performance of the BVAS in the upcoming elections.
Yakubu concluded by mentioning that reports on the 2023 general election and the outcome of the commission’s review are being finalized.