• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

INEC battles setback to ensure readiness for Edo off-cycle guber election

Review your operations before 2027, stakeholders urge INEC

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmoud Yakubu, a professor, has expressed the Commission’s readiness to conduct a credible governorship election in Edo State in September.

Yakubu gave the assurance following the recent heavy downpour that destroyed critical infrastructure at the INEC office, saying the affected facilities would be repaired or replaced.

Residents of Edo and Ondo will go to the poll on September 21 and November 16, respectively, to elect state governors.

As preparations have already begun for the 2027 general elections, these polls will be important indicators of public sentiment as they are expected to assess the popularity of the president, test the hold of the incumbent parties, and gauge the appeal of the third force in those states.

According to Yakubu, since the Edo governorship election is an off-cycle election, the Commission would also borrow equipment from neighbouring states to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

He spoke in Benin City while inspecting the damaged facilities. He also monitored the level of compliance with the on-going Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) and collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).

He said that the Commission was prepared for the election in Edo State and the one in Ondo, where he said the CVR would commence very soon.

“Our visit here is to ensure that we fix whatever we need to fix because of the election.

“We have three months and three weeks to the election and that is why we came here to inspect what happened to our facility on Friday last week so there is no immediate plan to relocate, we believe from what is here we can fix them before the election and it is better actually that we conduct the election in our own facilities rather than going to rent any facility outside close to election.

“Before the last governorship election in Edo, we took measures and for three years since the last governorship election, we have had no issues but this is an act of God,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Anugbum Onuoha, said the flood could be termed a blessing in disguise as it has better prepared them for the election.