INEC and deadlines for Bayelsa, Kogi guber primaries




Prof. Yakubu

Recently the National Electoral Commission (INEC) held a meeting to review its preparation for the conduct of the November 16 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and in particular alerts political parties on the deadline for their primaries. Emeka Nzeh writes

Resolutions

After its meeting, the commission reminded political parties that the period within which notice of intention to conduct primaries for the election of candidates has elapsed.

The electoral umpire warned political parties that its deadline for their conduct of primaries and things they would need to do in within the time frame remains sacrosanct insisting that it would not entertain any flimsy excuses as it not have to bend head over hills to accommodate avoidable lapses.

The INEC said no further notice of intention to conduct party primaries will be entertained, and therefore advised all parties intending to field candidates in the governorship elections in the two states to conduct their primaries without bothering the commission with request for notice of intent. Time for that is over. 

A statement issued by a national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, said the Resident Electoral Commissioners of the two states shall organize stakeholder meetings in the states and local governments between the 26th and 30th of August 2019 to sensitize the stakeholders on the modalities for the collection of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) from the Registration Areas and in the various communities.

“The collection of PVCs in the two states will take place at the Registration Areas (RAs)/Wards in each of the Local Governments and Distribution Officers (DOs) trained by the Commission will carry out this assignment.”

“There will be two teams of Distribution Officers per Local Government Area and the officers will rotate the distribution of the PVCs in the Registration Areas (RA) or from Community to Community based on a schedule agreed upon by the Resident Electoral Commissioner and the stakeholders.”

“The Commission will commence the exercise on the 2nd September 2019, and this will last till the 30th day of September 2019 between 9.00a.m to 3.00 p.m. (Monday to Friday). The Resident Electoral Commissioners will provide contacts and telephone numbers where registered voters that have not collected their PVCs can call and make inquiries relating to the collection,” the statement said.

Deadlines

Again, for emphasise, Okoye reminded political parties that in accordance with the revised Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election issued on 16th May 2019, the last day for the conduct of primaries and resolution of all matters or disputes arising therefrom is Thursday 5th September 2019.

According to INEC, the last day for the submission of lists of candidates and their personal particulars (INEC Forms CF001 and CF002) is Monday 9th September 2019 at 6:00pm at INEC Headquarters, Abuja.  

It also enjoined parties to ensure compliance with these timelines as no extension or late submission will be entertained.

“The period within which notice of intention to conduct primaries for the election of candidates has elapsed and no further notice of intention to conduct party primaries will be entertained. 

“Political parties are hereby reminded that in accordance with the revised Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election issued on 16th May 2019, the last day for the conduct of primaries and resolution of all matters or disputes arising therefrom is Thursday 5th September 2019, while the last day for the submission of lists of candidates and their Personal Particulars (INEC Forms CF001 and CF002) is Monday 9th September 2019 at 6:00pm at INEC Headquarters, Abuja.  

“Parties are enjoined to ensure compliance with these timelines as no extension or late submission will be entertained.”

PVCs

On the collection of permanent voters’ cards (PVCs), the Commission said Resident Electoral Commissioners of the two States shall organize stakeholder meetings in the States and Local Governments between the 26th and 30th of August 2019 to sensitize the stakeholders on the modalities for the collection of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) from the Registration Areas and in the various communities. 

It further said, “the collection of PVCs in the two states will take place at the Registration Areas (RAs)/wards in each of the Local Governments and Distribution Officers (DOs) trained by the Commission will carry out this assignment. 

On the modalities for PVCs collection, INEC stated that “there will be two teams of Distribution Officers per Local Government Area and the officers will rotate the distribution of the PVCs in the Registration Areas (RA) or from Community to Community based on a schedule agreed upon by the Resident Electoral Commissioner and the stakeholders.”

The statement further said “The Commission will commence the exercise on the 2nd September 2019, and this will last till the 30th day of September 2019 between 9.00a.m to 3.00 p.m. (Monday to Friday).

“The Resident Electoral Commissioners will provide contacts and telephone numbers where registered voters that have not collected their PVCs can call and make inquiries relating to the collection. 

“The Commission will send bulk SMS to the registered voters in the two States that are yet to collect their PVCs and will also display the list of registered voters that are yet to collect their PVCs at the respective State and Local Government offices of the Commission and at other designated public places.

“The total number of uncollected PVCs for Kogi State stands at 170,644 while that of Bayelsa State stands at 49, 291. 

“The Commission will engage faith-based, professional, civil society and community-based organizations to create increased awareness for the collection of PVCs.

“PVC collection will be suspended in both States on 30th September 2019 preparatory to PVC data harvest/audit preceding the publication of the register of voters. A detailed breakdown of collected and uncollected PVCs for the States will be published at the end of the exercise.

“In view of the fact that the Commission now conducts nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise and the tight timelines and schedule for the conduct of activities relating to the Bayelsa and Kogi Governorship elections, the Commission will not conduct fresh registration of voters, transfer of Voter’s Cards and reprint of damaged or defaced Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs). 

“The Commission appeals to all registered voters who are yet to collect their PVCs to avail themselves of the opportunity to do so during this window to enable them vote at the elections as it does not intend to entertain any extensions due to the tight statutory timelines that it is bound to adhere to.”




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