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Gov Polls: INEC Steps Up Act In Kogi, Bayelsa

As the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states approach the starting line, the umpire is getting ready to conduct the game according to laid down rules. Elections which have been scheduled to hold in Kogi on November 21 and Bayelsa on December 5 2015 respectively has not only heat up the polity of the respective states as aspirants and stakeholders jostle to pave the way for their choice candidates. In order to update it’s voters’ register ahead of elections in both Kogi and Bayelsa States, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct Continuous Voters Registration (CVR). The exercise would be conducted for five days between 2nd and 7th of September 2015.

The commission said the CVR exercise will afford an opportunity for those who are eligible but could not register before the 2015 General Elections Those who are eligible but whose names are not in the Voters’ Register, and those who have attained the age of eighteen (18) years since the last Voter Registration exercise. The Commission said CVR exercise will take place at the Local Government Area (LGA) level and would commence daily (during the scheduled five days of the exercise) from 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

INEC had at the end of a stakeholders meeting in Lokoja, Kogi state, urged prospective registrants to turn out in large numbers and to take advantage of the exercise to register in order to vote. The Commission assured the people of Bayelsa state that a similar stakeholders’ forum would be held at Yenegoa, Bayelsa State. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured that it will provide improved electoral processes in the conduct of the Kogi State Governorship election slated for November 21st 2015. The Kogi State INEC has commenced its targeted series of interact i v e s e s – s i o n f o r all the stakeh o l d – ers in the electoral body aimed at sensitizing and mobilizing the Electorates towards the up-coming governorship election in the state to ensure smooth conduct.

The Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hussaini Halilu Pai gave the assurance while speaking at a stakeholders forum organised by the commission in Lokoja yesterday ahead of the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state. “The commission from its previous experiences during the last general elections in the state learnt a lot of lessons which will graciously help in raising the standard of its conduct of the November governorship election to ensure credibility and transparency in the exercise.

“The INEC in Kogi will encourage participation in the electoral process and will carry out a Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise and those registered will have their cards printed in timely fashion. INEC will distribute (10) Direct Data Capturing Machines (DDCMs) in each of the 21 Local Government Area Offices and to be manned by two personnel while the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards would soon commence for those that could not collect before the 2015 General Elections”. Halilu Pai disclosed.

According to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Kogi INEC will collaborate with the key Stakeholders of all the registered political parties, Security Agencies and Civil Organizations to ensure that the pending governorship is free, fair, peaceful and credible. He admonished the political gladiators in the state to play the game according to the rules, stressing that every vote during the election will count to avoid rancour and acrimony in the electoral process.

Also speaking at the stakeholders meeting, the Attah Igala and Chairman of Kogi State Council Of Chiefs, HRM Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni 11 called on the royal fathers across the state to join hands with government in mobilization of their subjects to participate actively in the election of the candidates of their choice during the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

“Citizens should be encourage to exercise their constitutional rights in voting for those they feel to govern them. All the political parties duely registered by government have equal opportunity in the eyes of the people. It is only left for the people to make their choice based on their interest and principles”. The Attah Igala advised.

His Royal Majesty also appealed to all Nigerians to shun moneybag politicians whose activities had continue to plunged the nation into corruption and underdevelopment of which the federal government is currently waging war against.

-Patrick Osadebamwen in Abuja with Joseph Ahmedu in Kogi

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