By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has fixed November 2 for the conduct of governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Tue announcement was contained in a statement issued Tuesday night in Abuja and signed by the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Barr. Festus Okoye.
According to him, “the Commission at its meeting held on Tuesday approved the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States which will hold in both States on Saturday 2nd November 2019”.
He added that the official notice for both elections will be issued on 1st August 2019, while political parties that intend to sponsor candidates are to hold their primaries for the nomination of such candidates from 2nd to 29th August 2019.
Campaigns by Political Parties in public shall commence on 2nd August 2019 and end on 31st October 2019.
The parties sponsoring candidates are required to submit the list of their agents not later than 2nd October 2019.
“The stated timelines are in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). All stakeholders are urged to take cognizance of and adhere strictly to them”, said INEC.
To commence Post Election Review in May
The Commission also approved a proposal to conduct an extensive review and debriefing on the 2019 general elections, in line with its existing practice.
Okoye said this is intended to evaluate the Commission’s performance of the key activities of the general elections, with a view to addressing identified challenges and strengthening operational and institutional capacities to conduct free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.
“The review will focus on the planning, organization, conduct and coordination of the general elections, particularly on the following: Logistics, procurement and deployment of personnel and materials; Continuous Voter Registration and Collection of permanent voter’s cards; Legal environment of the elections, particularly the legal challenges experienced over nomination of candidates and conduct of elections; Processes of party registration, party primaries and nomination of candidates; Quality of ad hoc staff; Relationship between the Commission and diverse stakeholders, including political parties, security agencies, civil society organizations, the media and development partners; and Quality of inclusivity of the elections, particularly regarding persons with disability, lDPs and gender balance.
“Two sets of activities are envisaged in the reviews as follows: lnternal reviews involving National Commissioners, Resident Electoral Commissioners, Electoral Officers, Collation and Returning Officers, as well as other key staff of the Commission; Review meetings with key stakeholders such as political parties, civil society organizations, security agencies, the media and development partners.
“These reviews and debriefing will take place between May and June 2019. The Commission has commenced work on a comprehensive report of the 2019 general elections and has mandated its Electoral Institute to undertake detailed researches into various aspects of the elections. It is the Commission’s hope that the outcomes of these reviews and studies will feed into further electoral reforms and its preparations for impending and future elections”, said Okoye.