The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has voiced its deep apprehension regarding the prevailing security challenges in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi states as they prepare for the upcoming governorship elections scheduled for November 11.
In response to the security concerns, INEC has issued a renewed appeal to political parties and their candidates, urging them to refrain from any actions or statements that could exacerbate the already tense political climate.
According to Sam Olumekun, the National Commissioner and Chairman of INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, “The commission is concerned about the spate of insecurity and violence, including clashes among supporters of political parties and candidates in the forthcoming elections.”
He further emphasized, “INEC earnestly appeals to all political parties and candidates to avoid utterances and acts that may heat up the polity.” Olumekun also stated that INEC will closely monitor the situation and maintain its engagement with security agencies and stakeholders to ensure a peaceful electoral process in these three states.
Additionally, Olumekun highlighted the commission’s efforts to streamline the election process by opening an online portal for political parties to upload the lists of polling units and collation center agents. Despite multiple notifications and reminders, compliance from political parties has been lacking. As of the latest data, only a fraction of the expected agents have been uploaded for the respective states: 72.5% for Bayelsa, 60.3% for Imo, and 37.6% for Kogi.
INEC remains committed to facilitating a secure and transparent electoral process, but the cooperation of all stakeholders, including political parties, is essential to ensure the success of the upcoming elections.