The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that two million registered voters are expected to participate in the upcoming off-cycle governorship election in Kogi, scheduled for Saturday. The election will take place across 3,508 polling units situated in the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
Dr. Gabriel Longpet, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), assured the public of INEC’s readiness for the election, stating that the commission had recruited over 15,000 ad hoc staff to facilitate a smooth and efficient voting process. With each of the 3,508 polling units to be manned by four ad hoc staff and additional security personnel, the commission is prepared to manage densely populated polling units by deploying more than 900 backup Biometric Verification and Authentication Systems (BVAS).
Longpet explained, “This has become imperative, as we don’t want to give room for anything that will delay the process. As soon as there is a report of any BVAS failure or challenge, we shall provide another one and configure it to that polling unit for the smooth continuation of voting.”
The BVAS has been deployed to all 21 local government areas of the state in anticipation of the election.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bethrand Onuoha, announced the deployment of over 40,000 policemen across the state to ensure the peaceful conduct of the election. He emphasized the need for heightened security measures due to past incidents of violence during elections in the state. Onuoha called on citizens to exercise their civic rights, assuring them of adequate security measures.
Speaking at the peace accord signing ceremony, retired Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, Chairman of the National Peace Committee, urged political parties and candidates to abide by the accord and play politics according to the rules for a peaceful and successful election. Eighteen political parties, including the APC, PDP, SDP, LP, and AA, signed the peace accord ahead of the poll.