- The Bayelsa state government has explained why it wants the governorship election to be rescheduled
- The deputy governor in the state, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd.), said that the date of the poll, November 2, clashes with a state event backed by law
- Reacting to the state government's plea the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that it will deliberate over the issue
The Bayelsa state government, through its deputy governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd.) on Tuesday, May 14, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the November 2 gubernatorial election.
Jonah explained that the election date is clashing with state’s annual thanksgiving, an event which, according to him, has a legal backing, This Day reports.
Responding to the state government's plea, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, INEC's national boss, said that the commission will deliberate on the request.
Yakubu also urged the electorate in the state and those in Kogi to do their utmost to ensure violence-free polls.
INEC's chairman said: “May I seize this opportunity to appeal to all stakeholders in Bayelsa and Kogi states to ensure that the forthcoming governorship elections are devoid of hate speech, intimidation of voters and INEC officials, vote buying, violence including bombing and arson that led to the destruction of election materials and INEC facilities in the last governorship elections.
“I urge you to appeal to your supporters to ensure that the creeks and waterways, the hills and forests, urban and rural areas, the polling units and collation centres are free of thugs who unleash mayhem that turn a simple democratic process into needless bloodletting.
“We will deploy early, adhere to our guidelines and regulations and ensure a transparent and prompt collation and declaration of results.
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“May I also appeal to all political parties to ensure the conduct of transparent, credible and rancour-free primaries for the nomination of candidates.
“From the 2019 general elections, we have seen how acrimonious party primaries have been, resulting in numerous litigations and making our preparations for elections difficult.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that INEC on Monday, April 7, said it is in the process of publishing the timetable and schedule of activities for governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi.
Yakubu on Monday, April 7 at its defence of the 2019 budget proposal before a session of the Senate and of House of Representatives committees on electoral matters.
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