BREAKING NEWS: INEC condemns murder of 17 soldiers in Delta

INEC cautions political parties against frequent change of primary election dates

INEC condemns murder of 17 in Delta

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The lndependent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has condemned the recent gruesome killing of soldiers on a peace mission in Community in .

The commission said it has confident that the ongoing investigation will lead to the speedy and prosecution of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

The commission's chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu stated this at a meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, ICCES, held at INEC Headquarters in , on Friday.

“On behalf of the (INEC), I extend our condolence to the and the armed forces in particular as well as other security, intelligence, law enforcement agencies, all other members of ICCES, and families of the fallen heroes for the colossal loss, ” he said.

According to Yakubu, since the beginning of this week, the commission has been engaging stakeholders in the first regular quarterly consultative meeting for this year, which he said was the second meeting with the security agencies this year.

Addressing the committee, he said: “You may recall that two months ago, precisely on 23rd January 2024, we met to review the security arrangement for the bye-elections and court-ordered re-run elections in 48 Federal and state constituencies across the country.

“Except for two state constituencies in and Kano states, the elections have been concluded and winners declared. We are remobilising to conclude the outstanding elections which were disrupted by hoodlums. This will be done very soon after further consultations with stakeholders and the security agencies.

“Today's meeting with the security agencies will strategise ahead of our remobilisation for the two elections. Of course, the major activities in the electoral calendar for this year are the two off-cycle governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states. The timetable and schedule of activities for the elections were released by the Commission in September last year.

“The Edo governorship election will hold on Saturday 21st September 2024 while that of Ondo State is scheduled for Saturday 16th November 2024. We have just six months to the Edo State governorship election and only eight months before the Ondo State governorship election.

“The election in Ondo State will hold two months after Edo. It is therefore appropriate to acquaint you with the delimitation details to enable early preparations for security deployment.

“Both Edo and Ondo states have 18 local areas each. At the moment, Edo has 2,501,081 registered voters, 192 registration areas/wards, and 4,519 polling units while Ondo State has 1,991,344 registered voters, 203 registration areas/wards, and 3,933 polling units.

“However, the terrain differs in the two states. While there are a few riverine locations in Edo State, two local government areas in Ondo State (Ese Odo and Ilaje) are predominantly riverine.

“For Edo State, 18 political parties conducted their primaries monitored by the Commission. They have since commenced the uploading of the list and personal particulars of their candidates to our dedicated web portal.

“The deadline is 6 pm on Sunday 24th March 2024 when the portal automatically shuts down. So far, 12 political parties have uploaded the list of their candidates to the portal.

“For Ondo State, political parties will commence their primaries in the next two weeks. At the moment, 17 out of 19 parties have indicated interest in participating in the election.

“It is important to start security preparations very early. In particular, the number of personnel and other assets to be deployed to strategic locations should be determined and mobilised early enough. It was this proactive approach that led to the successful conduct of the last governorship election in Edo State on 19th September 2020 and in Ondo State on 10th October 2020.

“There were no security incidents, materials were delivered promptly, logistics deployed smoothly, Polling Units opened on time, voters attended to efficiently, and results collated and announced transparently.

“Let us replicate the successful conduct of the last governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states. In fact, working together, we should ensure that the 2024 governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states are an improvement on the success of 2020.

“In the next few months, there will be further engagements with the security agencies and other members of ICCES at both national and State levels. We look forward to your plans to secure the environment without which INEC cannot successfully conduct elections.”

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