By Peter Amine
Jos, Nov. 20, 2020 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has resumed preparations ahead of the Plateau South Senatorial by-election slated for Dec. 5
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Malam Halilu Pai, disclosed this on Friday in Jos at a stakeholders meeting held as part of the preparations.
Pai said the commission postponed bye-elections earlier scheduled for Oct. 31 on account of security and environmental challenges in the country.
He said that based on engagements, reviews of the situation and consultations, the commission believed that security in the affected areas had improved.
According to him, the environmental challenges have also reasonably abated.
“Accordingly, we in INEC, Plateau, immediately resumed preparations for the rescheduled Plateau South Senatorial bye-election.
‘We started by drafting a schedule of activities to be used as a roadmap for the bye-election.
“Based on the schedule, we began configuration and charging of smart card readers and z-pads and we also retrained Supervising Presiding Officers (SPOs) on Nov. 19.
“Training of Presiding Officers (POs) and Assistant Presiding Officers (APOs) will hold from Nov. 23 to Nov.25 in various local government areas where the elections will take place.
“The training of collation and returning officers will hold from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2, while two Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meetings will hold on Nov. 26 and Nov. 30,” he said.
The REC told the stakeholders that the movement of sensitive materials from the Central Bank in Jos would hold on Dec. 3, while campaigns would end in the midnight of Dec. 4.
He further said that the election would be conducted in strict observance of the COVID-19 safety protocols in line with Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 rules as elucidated in the INEC policy.
He said that wearing of face mask would be compulsory at the polling units, and that face masks carrying logos of political parties would not be accepted.
In his remarks, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Edward Egbuka, assured the stakeholders that security agencies were ready for the election.
Egbuka, who was represented by ACP Yinusa Ishaq, said that the security threats occasioned by the EndSARs protest were over.
He, therefore, advised the eligible voters to come out in large numbers and exercise their franchise without fear.
By Peter Amine