The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has identified why there may be violence in the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi State.
Speaking on behalf of the party yesterday in Abuja, PDP National Organising Secretary, Umar Bature, said one of the issues instrumental to electoral violence is delay in delivery of election materials.
Bature, who was live on the Channels Television’s People’s Townhall on Election Security in Abuja on Sunday night, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure early arrival of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials across the three states where the off-cycle governorship election would be conducted on November 11, 2023.
He also charged the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to identify ringleaders of electoral violence in the three states.
“In my opinion, the ring leaders of these crises in these areas should be identified before Friday to further deflate this violence.
“Coming to INEC,” he continued. “One of the key issues that bring violence is the late arrival of election materials. Sometimes, it is a strategy with the political party that is stronger in the areas. They (INEC officials) bring election materials late so that the election can drag on late into the night, and that brings about violence.
“The issue of election materials coming on time is key, and now the police deploying (officers) and identifying these ringleaders in all the areas that we have identified as flashpoints.
“There are people who are already planning for violence. So, the security agencies should look at the template they have so that before they act, they are already there to protect the voters,” Bature said.
The PDP chieftain asserted that if President Bola Tinubu sustained his assurance that he has no candidate in the polls despite being a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the level of violence would noticeably reduce before, during and after the polls.
Meanwhile, INEC has promised to upload polling unit results in real time on the Result Viewing Portal (IReV).
Naija News reports that the Acting Director of Voter Education and Publicity of the Commission, Mary Nkem, made the promise on behalf of the Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at Channels Television’s People’s Townhall on Election Security in Abuja on Sunday night.
Nkem said all the glitches experienced during the 2023 general elections had been addressed, stating that the Commission is ready to conduct free, fair and credible off-cyle elections.
She said INEC had put a lot of plans in place to guarantee early deployment of sensitive materials to polling units, including ad hoc officers camping near polling units a day before the exercise.
She said: “Rather than people moving from the local government headquarters to the various polling units, they are moved closer to the PUs (polling units) where they are going to work. So, I can assure you that God willing, we will deploy early.”
The INEC spokesperson revealed that sensitive materials will be moved from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) vaults to Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo states by Monday.
The official also said the Commission conducted mock accreditation last month in all three states to confirm the functionality of the BVAS, accredit voters as well and upload polling unit results to the IreV, and these were optimally carried out.
Similarly, the IGP assured voters and stakeholders in the three states that adequate security would be made available to ensure safe and peaceful polls.
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Also on the panel were APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje; and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Julius Abure.
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