The Independent National Electoral Commission has said six out of the 19 registered political parties in Nigeria, will participate in the upcoming bye-election in Ebonyi South Senatorial District, scheduled for February 3.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ebonyi State, Pauline Onyeka Ugochi, who disclosed this while interacting with the Media and Civil Society Organizations in the state, said only six out of the 19 registered political parties, who conducted primaries elections for their Senatorial candidates between 6th and 9th of January, 2024, by the timetable issued by the INEC, will participate in the election.
She said: “Out of the 19 registered political parties in Nigeria; only six conducted congresses and primaries as monitored by the Commission for the By-election.”
The REC however listed the six parties as; Action Alliance, Action Democratic Congress, All Progressive Grand Alliance, All Progressives Congress, Labour Party, and Peoples Democratic Party.
“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 fulfilment 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 added.
Onyeka further explained that the by-election should be conducted in the five local government areas of Afikpo North, Afikpo South, Ivo, Ohaozara, and Onicha that constitute Ebonyi South Senatorial Zone.
According to her, the Senatorial District has a total of 436,254 registered voters, adding that the election will take place in the 57 Registration Areas/Wards and 870 Polling Units in the senatorial district.
The REC further stressed that only those who have their Permanent Voters’ Cards would be allowed to vote.
“This comprises Returning Officers, LGA Collation Officers, Supervisory Presiding Officers, RATECHs and Local government Supervisors, Presiding Officers 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 explained.
Onyeka who also discussed the issue of security said INEC is making adequate security arrangements to ensure the security of electoral personnel and materials before, during, and after the by-election.
The NEC further commended the media for effective coverage and unbiased reportage of INEC activities in the State, and the CSOs for adequate sensitization 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 masse with their PVCs to vote for candidates of their choice come Saturday 3rd February 2024, she said.