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BREAKING: INEC Shifts Kogi, Bayelsa Governorship Elections to Nov. 16

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has shifted the Kogi State and Bayelsa State governorship elections.

The electoral umpire, in a statement on Thursday, said the elections will now hold on 16 November, 2019.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may announce a new date for the governorship election in Bayelsa State earlier scheduled for  November 2nd, Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has said.

Prof Yakubu made the disclosure while responding to request made  by the governor of Bayelsa Seriake Dickson, who led religious, traditional and leaders of thought from Bayelsa to INEC headquarters in Abuja.

The governor who was represented by his deputy, John Jonah pleaded for a new date for the governorship poll to allow the state commemorate her November 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Day, which is also a public holiday in the state.

A new date he said will enable greater turnout of voters turnout.

The state government had earlier written to INEC asking for a shift in the date of the election.

Prof Yakubu while welcoming the delegation said INEC maintains an open door policy and all stakeholders are free to request for audience with the Commission on any matter they consider important for the improvement of our electoral process.

He assured that the commission will make its decision public this Friday,  as he  “appeal to all stakeholders in Bayelsa and Kogi States to ensure that the forthcoming Governorship elections are devoid of hate speech, intimidation of voters and INEC officials, vote buying, violence including bombing and arson that led to the destruction of election materials and INEC facilities in the last Governorship elections in the two States and other sundry violations of the law.

 “I urge you to appeal to your supporters to ensure that the creeks and waterways, the hills and forests, urban and rural areas, the polling units and collation centres are free of thugs who unleash mayhem that turn a simple democratic process into needless bloodletting.

 While assuring that the Commission is committed to a free, fair and credible process he promised that INEC will deploy early on election day as well as adhere to our guidelines and regulations and ensure a transparent and prompt collation and declaration of results.

According to him, the commission will soon commence the prosecution of electoral offenders in the 2019 general election whose case files have been prepared by the Nigeria Police.

The INEC boss also appealed to all political parties to ensure the conduct of transparent, credible and rancour-free primaries for the nomination of candidates.

” From the 2019 general elections, we have seen how acrimonious party primaries have been, resulting in numerous litigations and making our preparations for elections difficult.

“We are still grappling with issues arising from the conduct of party primaries. Pre-election litigations through the regular courts (the High Courts, Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court) have resulted in a number of judgements in favour of petitioners.

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