2023 Elections: INEC Begins Distribution Of Materials In Bayelsa
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of Saturday polls, has begun the distribution of sensitive election materials in Bayelsa State.
Naija News reports that INEC had scheduled the 2023 governorship and house of assembly elections for Saturday, March 18. However, only the State House of Assembly Election will be conducted in Bayelsa this weekend.
Less than 48 hours before the poll, the electoral commission on Thursday retrieved the election materials it kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and dispatched them to the Registration Area Centres (RACs) in the eight local government councils ahead of the rescheduled State House of Assembly polls.
Reports had it that security personnel yesterday prevented journalists from entering the CBN premises in Yenagoa to witness the distribution process but allowed party agents and some political actors in.
Addressing journalists at the apex bank’s gate, the Head of Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Yenagoa office, Wilfred Ifogah, said they were at the CBN to retrieve the sensitive materials comprising election result sheets and ballot papers for the House of Assembly polls.
He explained that the materials would get to RACs accessible by road today (Thursday), while those for riverine areas, especially Southern Ijaw and Brass LGAs, would be taken to INEC head office in Yenagoa for onward movement on Friday to their RACs.
“We know in Bayelsa, we do not have a governorship election, so right now, we are moving the materials to the various local government headquarters so that the distribution can be early enough on Saturday.
“We have 24 constituencies in Bayelsa. Each of the local governments has three (constituencies) except Southern Ijaw, which has four, and Kolokuma/Opokuma with two. Every necessary arrangement has been put in place. BVAS has been reconfigured for this particular election. So far so good, we are good to go,” Independent quoted Ifogah saying.
The official also said to ensure a smooth process, refresher training for the supervising presiding officers had been organised while collation officers would also be under theirs.
He further said, “Just before today, we actually reviewed the election we had on the 25th (February) and we looked at some of the lapses and what actually caused them. As we speak today, we are trying to break the chain. That is why we are moving our materials early enough so that they can go to the various local government headquarters, especially those on land.
“The result sheet of the State Assembly election also has a seal on it though the seal is different from that of the presidential election. This is to prevent people that want to be funny, possibly want to compromise, from having seen that of the presidential. We don’t play with that at all, so we designed a different seal for this particular one.”