The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), an umbrella body of registered political parties in Nigeria, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the upcoming governorship elections in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states to rebuild the confidence of the electorate in the electoral process.
IPAC made the call on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ meeting with INEC in Abuja, ahead of the November 11 polls in the three states. The meeting was convened to brief the political parties about the preparations for the elections and their roles in ensuring credible and peaceful polls.
Yabagi Sani, the chairman of IPAC, said that INEC could show its dedication to fair and open elections by using its BVAS and IREV portals for checking voters and sending results electronically from the polling units.
He said that the law required INEC to use BVAS and IREV and that IPAC would not agree to any other method of sending results in these elections. He also asked INEC to change the REC of Imo State, Prof. Sylvia Agu, because of claims of unfairness and inefficiency.
He was confident that IPAC’s candidates in the three states—Duoye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Anyanwu (Imo), and Dino Melaye (Kogi)—would win the elections, as they had shown their public service and popularity among their people.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of INEC, told the stakeholders that INEC was prepared to conduct peaceful and credible elections in the three states. He said that INEC had printed all the materials needed for the elections and sent 11,355 BVAS machines for voter verification.
He also said he was worried about some court orders and judgements that changed the candidates after the printing of materials. He said that these orders made it difficult for INEC in terms of money and logistics. He asked the political parties to follow the rule of law and not cause violence during the elections.