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Ekiti Gubernatorial Elections: INEC Says They are Ready

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared its readiness in conducting the Ekiti State Governorship elections scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday,18th June 2022, in a free, fair and transparent manner.

INEC made this pronouncement when it spoke through its National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, during his conversations with the media.

Mr. Festus Okoye said, over 980,000 residents have been captured in the Commission’s Voters’ Register with only 230,965 people, yet to pick up their Permanent Voters Card.

“As of today, we have a total of 988,923 voters on the Voters’ Register,” Okoye said.

“Out of this number, as of the 13th day of June 2022, 749,065 have collected their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs). So, we are ready for this particular election and every PVC that has not been collected will be mopped up and kept in safe custody pending the conclusion of the election.” He continued.

The Commissioner mentioned that, Mr. Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman had directed that the collection of PVCs by residents should be stop on Thursday.

This he explained was to give the Electoral Umpire time and space to gather the PVCs collected in order of the respective polling units, registration areas, per local government areas. So that accredited observers, Media Houses, and Political Parties among other Stakeholders, will be able to have access to the number of persons who are eligible to vote in the various polling unit and registration area.

According to Mr. Okoye, INEC has made available enough Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the election vis a vis the number of polling units expected to host voters exercising their franchise on that day. This he said will ensure that voters are not unduly delayed during accreditation.

“In any polling unit where we have more than 750 registered voters, we are going to deploy an additional BVAS to those polling areas. We have a total of 2,445 polling units that will be used for this election, but we have deployed a total of 3,346 BVAS to Ekiti State. So, we are going to have redundancies in every registration area”.

“We have also trained enough registration area technical assistants, who can intervene at very short notice if there is any challenge with the BVAS. From the test runs we have done, we are confident that the BVAS will perform optimally and that every person who is duly and legally registered to vote in this election will have an opportunity of exercising his/her right.”

Tomorrow residents of Ekiti State will go out to choose their next Governor, as Governor John Olukayode Fayemi’s 2nd term is due to end on 16th October, 2022.

There are many contestants vying to succeed him, among whom are Abiodun Oyebanji of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Olabisi Kolawole of the major opposition party in the State, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Governor Segun Oni, candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). These three are considered by analyst as the major contenders.

Others include two female candidates, Christiana Olatawura of the Action Peoples Party (APP) and Kemi Elebute-Halle of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), and 38 years old, Iyaniwura Ifedayo of the National Rescue Movement (NRM).

Reuben Famuyibo of Accord Party, Moses Ajagunigbala of African Action Congress, Oluwole Oluyede of African Democratic Congress, Benjamin Obidoyin of All Progressives Grand Alliance, Peter Adegbenro Fagbemi of Allied Peoples Movement, Olugbenga Daramola of Labour Party, Oladosu Abiodun Fatomilola of New Nigeria Peoples Party,  Olaniyi Ben Agboola of People’s Redemption Party, Adebowale Oluranti Ajayi of Young Progressives Party and Kolade Akinyemi Adeolu of Zenith Labour Party, are also in the race.
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