The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the early delivery of election materials for the November 11, 2023 governorship polls in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states.
Umar Bature, PDP National Organising Secretary, made this request during an appearance on Channels Television’s People’s Townhall on Election Security in Abuja on Sunday night.
He also urged the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to identify the instigators of electoral violence in these states, saying, “In my opinion, the ringleaders of these conflicts in these areas should be identified before Friday to further deflate this violence.”
“Coming to INEC,” he said. “One of the key issues that bring violence is late arrival of election materials. Sometimes, it is a strategy with the political party that is stronger in the areas. They (INEC officials) bring election materials late so that the election can drag late into the night and that brings about violence.
“The issue of election materials coming on time is key and now the police deploying (officers) and identifying these ringleaders in all the areas that we have identified as flashpoints.
“There are people who are already planning for violence. So, the security agencies should look at the template they have so that before they act, they are already there to protect the voters.”
The PDP leader stated that if President Bola Tinubu upholds his claim of having no preferred candidate in the polls, violence levels will significantly decrease before, during, and after the elections.
Addressing Bature’s concerns, INEC’s Acting Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mary Nkem, who shared the panel with the PDP leader and the IGP on Sunday night, assured that all the issues encountered during the earlier general elections this year had been resolved.
She added that INEC has implemented extensive plans to ensure the early distribution of sensitive materials to polling stations, including having ad hoc officers camp near polling stations a day before the exercise.
“Rather than people moving from the local government headquarters to the various polling units, they are moved closer to the PUs (polling units) where they are going to work. So, I can assure you that God willing, we will deploy early,” Nkem said.