New Telegraph

INEC: Parties Yet To Upload 96,356 Agents For Guber Poll

With only two days to October 10 closure of the portal for submission of party agents for November 11 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said only 55 per cent of the expected 189, 180 polling unit agents in the three states, have been uploaded by political parties fielding candidates for the election, to its portal dedicated for the purpose.

This leaves a total of 84,481 agents yet to be uploaded by the parties.

The commission also disclosed that it received only 25.1 per cent of the expected 15,804 collation agents from the parties of the three States, with a whopping 11, 825 collation agents to be uploaded.

INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Sam Olumekun, in a statement on Sunday, said October 10 for the shutdown of the portal remains unchanged.

“The commission notified all political parties of the opening of its online portal for the upload of the list of polling units and collation centre agents, which commenced on Thursday 24th August 2023,” Olumekun stated.

He added that “despite this notice and subsequent reminders, political parties are yet to substantially comply by submitting the list of their agents.”

The breakdown showed that 29,278 (72.5 per cent) out of the expected 40,372 polling unit agents for Bayelsa State, were uploaded, while political parties in Imo State were able to upload 51,681 (or 60.3 per cent) out of 85,644 of their agents. In Kogi State, only 23,720 (36.6 per cent) out of 63,144 have been unloaded.

He observed that while parties in Bayelsa State uploaded 1,246 (or 26.0 per cent) out of 4,806 of their collation agents to the INEC portal, Imo State was able to achieve 1,638 (or 27.3 per cent) out of 5,994 of the agents. Again, Kogi State lagged behind with only 1,095 (or 21.9 per cent) out of 5,004 of the expected agents.

“The commission hereby wishes to further remind political parties that the portal will automatically shut down at 12:00 midnight on Tuesday 10th October 2023. There shall be no extension.

“Consequently, all parties sponsoring candidates for the elections that are yet to upload the list of their agents should do so before the deadline for the exercise,” the National Commissioner advised.

He also expressed worry that only 45 media houses were so far able to apply for accreditation for coverage of the governorship elections through the INEC portal opened for the purpose.

Olumekun advised interested media organisations wishing to cover the election, to take advantage of the remaining window to apply for accreditation before the deadline of October 22nd.

“For emphasis, late applications will not be entertained and there is no provision for manual accreditation anymore,” he warned.

Olumekun further expressed INEC’s concern about the spate of insecurity and violence among supporters of political parties and their candidates in the ongoing electioneering.

He noted that in its engagement with political parties, the commission had constantly called on parties to rein in their supporters from actions capable of jeopardising the peaceful conduct of elections in Nigeria.

“INEC earnestly appeal to all political parties and candidates to avoid utterances and acts that may heat up the polity.

“The commission will continue to closely monitor the situation and sustain its engagement with security agencies and stakeholders to ensure a peaceful conduct of elections in the three states,” he assured.

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