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(UPDATED) #NigeriaElection2023: INEC moves voting in Bayelsa to Sunday

The Independent National Electoral Commission has moved voting in 141 polling units in Bayelsa State to Sunday.

This was made known by the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu on Saturday at the second leg of the situation report on 2023’s presidential and National Assembly elections.

According to Yakubu, the voting process was interrupted by thugs and security agencies were later reinforced. However, the National Youths Service Corps handling those polling units were afraid which led to the postponement.

In Imo state, the Chairman who said voting is ongoing noted that it was also disrupted in some polling units in seven Local Government Areas by insecurity and thuggery.

He also noted that elections in three Local Government Areas in Edo have been postponed to March 11. This was as a result of a party whose logo is on the results sheet but is not on the ballot paper.

Yakubu further stated that more Bimodal Voter Authentication Systems have been carted away by thugs.

He explained “Unfortunately, we continue to lose some of the BVAS. I reported in the morning the loss of some devices. Unfortunately, we also lost three BVAS in Ayemelu in Anambra but we have recovered.

“There were issues arising from the commencement process in Abia, Imo and in Kebbi among other places. I am happy to say that the process is ongoing in Abia. The polling units will remain open beyond the voting hour until the last person before 2:30pm votes.

“In Imo, the process is ongoing except a few areas of PUs marked by insecurity and thuggery spread across seven LGAs and the situation in Kebbi State is stable. Voting is going on mainly in Birin-Kebbi which was earlier affected.

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“But in Bayelsa State particularly in the capital were in four wards, Ward 4,6, 8, and 14 involving 141 polling units. The process was disrupted. We re-mobilised security to proceed with the process but the corps members expressed some apprehension about going back so we met with the security agencies and decided that voting in these 141 polling units where all the materials are actually intact will take place tomorrow morning.

“Remember we are not only conducting the presidential election but we are also doing senatorial and federal constituencies so we will do as much as possible to conduct the election so that we can conclude the processes.

“So, we have an agreement to hold the election in these locations tomorrow.

“In Lagos, we have been closely following the situation in Okota, Mafoluku, Oshodi, and Elegushi we have been able to normalize the situation in a number of places and voting is ongoing, so we will keep our eyes on the processes in the other areas that I had mentioned.”

The INEC Chairman added “In a large number of polling units, voting is closed and sorting and counting have commenced between now and the last briefing we have taken up a proactive step by meeting with the Inspector General of Police, the national security adviser, and the commandant of the Nigerian security and Civil Defence Corps, the idea is to strengthen security as we move into the next stage of the process, which is a collation of results in locations where voting has been concluded at the polling units.

“I would also like to say that in Edo State. We had a situation that we handled yesterday, one of the parties whose logo is on the results sheet but is not on the ballot paper.

“In a meeting with the stakeholders, a decision was taken on the materials and the elections. So, we have suspended the election for Esan North, South, and Iguebe. The ballot papers will be reprinted and the election will now be held along with the state elections on the 11th of March. That is in the next two weeks we are determined that no Nigerian should be disenfranchised.

“So, we have been responding to some of the situations as they arise. And we are going to do so overnight. we will open the Coalition centre tomorrow so this is an update on the situation mentioned earlier.”
The Chairman added that the National Collation Centre will be officially opened mid-day on Sunday.

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