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No counting of votes where there is violence – INEC

Ahead of Saturdays gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo States, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it won’t count votes in any polling unit where violence occurs in Bayelsa.


This comes amidst series of processes and efforts being made by the commission and security agencies across the three states to ensure a hitch-free electoral process.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital on Wednesday, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who was represented by the INEC National Commissioner supervising Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, and Rivers, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, said that INEC would deploy BIVAS to all polling units for the election.

The INEC boss also sensitized the public on what to expect to see on the BIVAS and urged all stakeholders in the forthcoming elections to play their part in ensuring that the election in the state is conducted without any crisis or violence.

Yakubu said, “I want to let you know that our BIVAS have been customized for INEC, so INEC details and the name of the parties are on the BIVAS, so any BIVAS you see without INEC details cannot be from INEC.

“Another thing, we have all the lists of the serial numbers of the BIVAS we are going to use, and the result sheets will be signed at the polling units.

“Where there is violence, it will be zero; we will not return to that polling unit to conduct the election.

“We have recruited and carefully trained all categories of ad hoc staff to be deployed to the field, all non-sensitive materials have been distributed to all eight local government area offices of the state; voter education and sensitization is ongoing.”

Speaking further, the INEC chairman added, “We have arranged the transportation of personnel and materials to ensure that the polling unit opens on schedule on election day.

“For more effective supervision of the process, we are deploying two National Commissioners, eight resident electoral commissioners to support our office in Bayelsa. I wish to assure you of our commitment to a free, fair, and credible election come Saturday.”

On his part, the state commissioner of police, Mr Tolani Alausa, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operations, Mr Ijamah Daniel, said the police were fully prepared to ensure a peaceful election on Saturday and that the force would deploy enough personnel for the election.

According to him, it is pertinent for all in the state to adhere strictly to instructions by security operatives thereby becoming law abiding citizens as the police would not hesitate to let the law take its cause on anyone found wanting.

He said, “In every polling unit, we are going to deploy three to six personnel; outside that, the IGP has deployed as many as 21 units of the mobile police force, under tactical units like the special force, the counter-terrorism unit, and the special protection unit, all coming to Bayelsa.

“I will advise every one of us to be law-abiding because we are prepared to withstand any type of challenge that will arise; we are equal to the task,” he said.

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