The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has unveiled crucial details about the upcoming off-cycle governorship elections scheduled to take place next month in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, made this announcement during a press release in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr. Olumekun provided a comprehensive breakdown of the eligible voters in each of the three states, revealing that a total of 5,409,438 registered voters will participate in these pivotal elections. Specifically, Bayelsa State has 1,056,862 registered voters, Imo State boasts 2,419,922 voters, and Kogi State has 1,932,654 registered voters.
In an effort to ensure the accuracy of these figures, INEC will provide soft copies of the complete voter registers for each state to the political parties fielding candidates in the elections.
Furthermore, Mr. Olumekun disclosed that INEC has completed its preparations for a mock accreditation of voters in the three states.
This exercise is intended to test the functionality of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the uploading of polling unit results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV). The mock accreditation will take place simultaneously in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States on Saturday, October 14, 2023, from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.
His statement reads in part: “The Commission held its regular meeting today, Tuesday 10th October 2023 and, among other issues, reviewed preparations for the off-cycle Governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States.
“For the forthcoming elections, there are 1,056 862 registered voters in Bayelsa State; 2,419,922 in Imo State; and 1,932,654 in Kogi State, making a combined total of 5,409,438 registered voters for the three states.
“As provided in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities, soft copies of the complete register of voters for each State will be presented to the political parties participating in the elections. For emphasis, 16 political parties are sponsoring candidates in Bayelsa State, 17 in Imo State and all the 18 parties in Kogi State.
“State Chairmen of political parties or their designated representatives are invited to attend the event which will take place at the Collation Centres in the State Headquarters of the Commission in Lokoja, Owerri and Yenagoa on Thursday 12th October 2023 at 10.00 am.
“In furtherance of our commitment to deepen the deployment of technology for voter accreditation and result management, the Commission has finalised preparations for mock accreditation of voters in the three States to test-run the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and upload of polling units results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV).
“The exercise will take place simultaneously in the three States on Saturday 14th October 2023 from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm. The list of designated polling units for each State has already been uploaded to our website and social media platforms.
“Lessons learnt from the exercise will be taken into consideration to ensure the seamless deployment of both the BVAS and IReV on Election Day. This is strictly a test run and not the actual election.
“Once again, the Commission appeals to registered voters in the selected polling units to turn up with their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) for the exercise.”