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46,084 INEC ad hoc staff will be deployed for Kogi, Imo, Bayelsa polls – INEC Chairman, Yakubu reveals
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Fri, 20 Oct 2023   ||   Nigeria,

Yakubu Mahmood, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has confirmed that a total of 46,084 regular and ad-hoc staff would be deployed for the November 11 off-season gubernatorial polls in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo states.

Yakubu made this known in Abuja on Friday during a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECS.

While expressing worries over insecurity in the states, the INEC chairman said such massive deployment requires a secure environment which is beyond the commission’s immediate responsibilities.

Yakubu said the commission is concerned about the prevailing insecurity and election-related violence in the three States, but added that it has been reassured of adequate deployment by the security agencies.

He said, “In the next three weeks, off-cycle governorship elections will be held in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States. The three elections will involve 5,409,438 registered voters who will vote in 10,510 polling units spread across 649 electoral Wards in 56 Local Government Areas.

“So far, all non-sensitive materials for the election have been delivered to the three States. Other preparatory activities, including training, are on course. Valuable lessons have been learnt from the 2023 General Election for improved performance in the forthcoming elections.

“Last week, we conducted a mock accreditation involving actual voters in designated polling units in the three States. We had two objectives for the exercise. First, to test the efficacy of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for especially biometric authentication of voters. Secondly, to upload the result to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV). Both tests were successful. We look forward to improved performance of the BVAS in voter accreditation and result upload in the forthcoming elections.

“While we are leaving no stone unturned in other areas of preparations for the governorship elections, the commission plans to deploy a total of 46,084 regular and ad hoc staff for the election. We have so far accredited 126 national and international organisations, collectively deploying 11,000 observers for the election. Although the portal for media accreditation closes on Tuesday, 24th October 2023, we have received applications from 80 media organisations seeking to deploy 1,203 personnel made up of journalists and technical/support staff to report on the elections. The 18 political parties participating in the elections are deploying 137,934 agents made up of 130,093 polling and 7,841 collation agents. We are also finalizing arrangements for vehicles and boats for land and maritime movement of personnel and materials.”

He stressed that the commission will continue to deepen its engagement with the security agencies and see that more meetings are planned in the next few days.

Similarly, he said the Commission will hold a series of meetings with stakeholders at the national level in addition to ongoing engagements at State level.


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