The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said a total of 2.37 million voters will have access to voting during the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa and Kogi states.

The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this recently, while briefing the Senator Kabiru Gaya-led Senate Committee on INEC on the Commission’s preparations for the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, in Abuja, also said a total of 25,813 ad-hoc staff would be engaged for the task in both states.

Professor Yakubu, who was in the company of National Commissioners of the Commission, also revealed that voting will be taking place in 2,244 polling units across Bayelsa’s 105 electoral wards in its eight council areas, just as it will be taking place in 3,508 polling units across Kogi’s 239 wards in its 21 council areas.

Giving a breakdown of the number of eligible voters in both states, the INEC Chairman explained that though a total of 2,569,432 persons got registered in both states (923,182 for Bayelsa and 1,646,250 for Kogi) and since only those with Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) will be allowed to vote, the number of those who would be eligible on election day would be just 2,375,136, as that is the figure of the PVC already collected.

“In terms of the number of local governments, Bayelsa has 8 local government areas. Kogi has 21. Bayelsa has 105 electoral wards, Kogi has 239. For the Polling Units including the Voting Points, Bayelsa has 2,244 polling units and voting points while Kogi has 3508.

“In terms of the registered voters, Bayelsa has 923,182 registered voters, whereas Kogi has 1,646,350 registered voters. Since 2015, it has been the practice that where citizens have no PVCs (permanent Voters’ Cards) they can’t vote.

“In Bayelsa, 889,308 PVCs have been collected, representing 96.3 percent of the total number of registered voters. In Kogi, 1, 485,828 PVCs have been collected representing 90.2 percent. What about the uncollected PVCs? In Bayelsa it is 33, 874, representing 3.7 percent of the total number of registered voters. Whereas in Kogi it is 160, 522, representing 9.8 percent of the total number of registered voters.

“We’ll require lot of ad-hoc staff to conduct the elections in the two states. In Bayelsa, we’ll require 9,945 ad-hoc staff. In Kogi, we’ll require 15,868 ad-hoc staff. In all, for the two states, the Commission will require about 26,000 ad-hoc staff to conduct the elections. But in addition to the governorship elections, we also have other elections, essentially bye-elections.

“But in addition to the governorship election in Bayelsa state, there is also the pending supplementary election into the Brass II State Constituency in six Polling Units. We planned and prepared to conduct the election shortly after the general elections, but for the protracted legal battle that went up to the Supreme Court.

“It is only recently that the Supreme Court determined the case. So, we are going back to conduct that election in six Polling Units and make a declaration for the Brass II State Constituency. We are going to combine it with the governorship election,” the INEC boss said.


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