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INEC holds Meeting with Political Parties, gives update on upcoming Edo, Ondo Elections

… Resumes CVR in Edo, Ondo Ahead of Guber Polls.

Oru Leonard 

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday held second quarterly meeting with Political Parties under the heads of Political Parties under the umbrella of the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).

Top on the agenda was update party leaders on preparations for the Edo and Ondo State Governorship elections which is holding in the next four months on Saturday 21st September 2024 while the Ondo Governorship election holds in the next six months on Saturday 16th November 2024.

Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has also disclosed that it would resume Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in Edo and Ondo states ahead of the September and November off-cycle governorship elections in the two states.

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who revealed  this at a quarterly meeting said the exercise is expected to begin on Monday, May 27, will end on Wednesday 5th June 2024.

He said considering the time available for the exercise, the commission has decided that the registration will only take place at the ward headquarters and INEC headquarters in the state adding that those who are registered voters also have the opportunity to transfer their registration from other States of the federation to Edo and Ondo States or from one location to another within the two States.

He reiterated that the CVR is only open to new registrants and those who seek to transfer their registration. However, persons who are registered as voters should not attempt to register again as double or multiple registration is illegal.

“Lost or damaged voters’ cards will be replaced during the exercise but this does not require fresh registration.

“The Commission has decided to conduct the registration at ward level and our state headquarters instead of our Local Government offices and a few designated centers as was the case in the past, hence there will be 192 Ward registration centres in Edo State and 203 centres in Ondo State, in addition to our State offices in Benin City and Akure, making a total of 397 walk-in registration centres in the two States”, he stated.

He also said that there will be no online pre-registration option in the two States because of time constraints.

“Each centre will be managed by two officials drawn from our regular staff and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). In the next few days, the Commission will commence the training of at least 794 officials for the election”, he explained

In response, the National Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Yusuf M. Dantalle, charged INEC, leaders of Political Parties, civil society organizations, security agencies, Judiciary, Press and citizens to be firm and decisive in protecting the nation’s democracy and forestall political upheavals as currently experienced in some parts of the country.

Dantalle condemned in strong terms politics of bitterness, do-or-die politics and divisive politics that have tendencies of undermining the country’s emerging democracy.

“It is unacceptable! Politicians must abide by democratic ideals, ethics and ethos, and desist from inflammatory utterances and actions that could impede our constitutional government. More importantly, political parties must adhere strictly by their constitutions in conducting congresses, primaries and conventions.

“The high expression of interest and nomination fees charged by some political parties should be reviewed despite being internal affairs of the parties. IPAC will continue to engage party leaders on this among others that will curb imposition of candidates and boost internal democracy as we strive to make Nigeria better”, he said.

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