Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) said that only six political parties out of the 19 registered parties in the country will participate in the Ebonyi South Senatorial bye-election.
The election is slated to take place on the 3rd of next month.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ebonyi State, Pauline Onyeka Ugochi, stated this on Tuesday at an interactive session with the Media and Civil Society Organisations in the state.
“Out of the 19 registered Political Parities in Nigeria; only six conducted congresses and primaries as monitored by the Commission for the Bye-Election,” she said.
She listed the six parties as Action Alliance (AA), Action Democratic Congress (ADC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), All Progressives Congress (APC), Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mrs Onyeka said that the six Political Parties conducted their primaries to elect their Senatorial candidates between 6th and 9th January, 2024 in accordance with the time-table for the Bye-Election.
“The Bye-Election is occasioned by the appointment of the Senator representing the senatorial District in the Senate, Senator David Nweze Umahi as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his subsequent resignation from the Senate.
“This is in fulfillment of the provision of the law, which states that a bye-election shall be conducted to fill any vacant elective position occasioned by death, resignation, recall or appointment into a different office,” she explained.
The REC noted that the Bye-Election shall be conducted in the five (5) Local Government Areas of Afikpo North, Afikpo South, Ivo, Ohaozara and Onicha that constitute Ebonyi South Senatorial Zone.
She added that the Senatorial District has a total of 436,254 registered voters.
She said the election will take place in the 57 Registration Areas (RAs)/Wards and 870 Polling Units in the senatorial district .
Mrs Onyeka, however, stressed that it is only those who have their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) that would be allowed to vote.
The REC said that about 3,662 ad hoc staff will be required for the Bye-Election.
“This comprises Returning Officers, LGA Collation Officers, Supervisory Presiding Officers, RATECHs and Local government Supervisors, Presiding Officer and Assistant Presiding Officers.
“The number of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) required for verification and authentication of voters for the Bye-Election has been selected and will be configured for deployment to the five (5) LGAs at the appropriate time.
“Non-sensitive election materials are being selected and arranged LGA by LGA for deployment to the LGAs as well, while the sensitive ones are being expected from Abuja,” she said.
On Security, Mrs Onye said adequate security arrangement is being made by INEC to ensure security of electoral personnel and materials before, during and after the Bye-Election.
She commended the Media for effective coverage and unbiased reportage of INEC activities in Ebonyi State, and the CSOs for adequate sensitisation and enlightenment of the public for active participation in the electoral process.
“It is my hope and belief that you will replicate such collaboration in the Ebonyi South Senatorial Bye-Election slated for Saturday, 3rd February, 2024”
“This is one of the areas we would charge you to carry out adequate sensitization and publicity on the need for prospective voters to come out en mass with their PVCs to vote candidates of their choice come Saturday 3rd February 2024,” she added.