INEC Expresses Concern Over Threats to Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo Polls

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Calls on Political Parties to Curb Violence Prior to Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi Gubernatorial elections.

During the INEC election quarterly review meeting with political parties in Abuja on Tuesday, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, expressed deep concern over the escalating incidents of pre-election violence perpetrated by political parties.

He urged the political parties to take responsibility and caution their supporters against engaging in violence in the run-up to the governorship elections scheduled for November 11 in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states.

The INEC chairman said: “I appeal to party leaders for introspection on the conduct of your candidates and their supporters. The use of thugs during elections to harass election officials, intimidate voters and disrupt processes, sometimes resulting in the destruction of election materials or even worse must be addressed.

“Campaign in the public by parties and candidates in the three states commenced on July 14, 2023, as provided in the timetable and schedule of activities for the governorship elections.

“Sadly, there are already disturbing reports of clashes between opposing parties with claims and counter-claims of innocence or culpability. These claims help no one. Rein in your supporters.

“As we review the general elections, we also need to focus our attention on the forthcoming by-elections and the three off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states

“For the commission, we are looking at some of the lessons learnt from the general elections to improve our performance in the forthcoming elections.

“We are focusing, among other issues, on election technology, recruitment and training of ad hoc staff, the conduct of some of our regular and ad hoc officials, security issue, logistics in particular and our relationship with other service providers in general,” he said.

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