The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it would commence the registration of new eligible voters in Kogi and Balyelsa states in November.
This was disclosed by Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner and chairman of the commission’s committee on information and voter education, in an interview with BusinessDay, noting that the registration was necessary so that eligible voters who had attained the voting age since election was last conducted in both states are captured.
Governorship elections are staggered in some states as a result of litigations over previous polls that led to disruptions in the assumption of office by the governors. The states concerned are Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Kogi, and Ondo. Gubernatorial elections will hold in Bayelsa and Kogi in December and November this year, respectively.
The INEC commissioner added that the commission had started preparing for gubernatorial elections in both states, which will hold in 2019, stressing that it was working assiduously to publish the timetable and schedule of activities for the elections.
According to Okoye, “We will commence the registration of new voters in Kogi and Balyesa States in November. Don’t forget that the gubernatorial elections are coming up in those states soon, so we are targeting those who just clocked 18 years between the last election and now.”
Okoye denied media report that the commission would soon commence the distribution of Permanent Voters Card (PVCs), stressing that it was not an immediate priority of the commission.
“Distribution of PVCs is not our immediate task, we are just rounding off with the general elections and we have to take stock and plan for the forthcoming Kogi and Balyelsa governorship elections”, Okoye said.
INEC’s national chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, had on Monday, April 7 at its defence of the 2019 budget proposal before a session of the Senate and House of Representatives committees on electoral matters, stated that the commission was in the process of publishing the timetable and schedule of activities for governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi.
Yakubu presented a budget proposal of N45.4 billion for the commission in 2019, stressing that it was preparing for elections in the two states in the year.
“This year we are going to conduct two end-of-tenure elections into the offices of the governors in Kogi and Bayelsa state,” Yakubu said.
Culled from BusinessDay