Politics

INEC: 652,759 voters for Bayelsa senatorial bye-elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said a total of 652,759 registered voters will vote in the forthcoming Bayelsa Central and West senatorial bye-elections slated to hold on December 5.

The acting National Chairman of INEC, Air Vice-Marshal Ahmed Muazu (retd.), disclosed this at the commission’s stakeholders’ meeting in Yenagoa on Monday ahead of the two senatorial bye-elections in Bayelsa State.

He also said that a total of 624,576 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) had been collected by voters for the bye-elections.

While Bayelsa Central has a total of 418,109 eligible voters with 395,554 PVCs collected, Bayelsa West has 234,649 registered voters with 229,022 PVCs collected.

Bayelsa Central is made up of Southern Ijaw, Yenagoa and Kolokuma/Opokuma local government areas while Bayelsa West comprises Sagbama and Ekeremor local government areas.

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Muazu said,”The Bayelsa Central senatorial district bye-election will be conducted in three local government areas with registration areas totalling 43, and 860 polling units and voting points.

“It will involve 418,109 registered voters, and a total of 395,554 PVCs already collected by voters in the Bayelsa Central senatorial district.

“The Bayelsa West bye-election will be held in two local government areas with a total of 26 registration areas and 410 polling units and voting points put together.

“It will also involve a total of 234,022 PVCs collected.”

He further said the commission was deploying a total of 3,589 electoral personnel for the Bayelsa Central and 1,716 for the Bayelsa West polls.

Muazu said the leadership of the INEC was in Bayelsa to assess the readiness of its staff and processes relating to the two senatorial bye-elections.

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He urged all stakeholders in the two senatorial districts not to lower their guards regarding the COVID-19 prevention protocols.

Muazu, who assured stakeholders of credible, free and fair bye-elections, added: “All registered voters must come to the polling unit with their face masks as the policy of the commission remains ‘no face mask, no voting.’

The Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, said the police had a duty to protect lives and property before, during and after the bye-elections in collaboration with sister security agencies.

He said, “We have written to the Force Headquarters to assist us with more policemen due to shortage of personnel, and we have received positive response.”

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