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Friday, 1 February 2019

70 battles for Imo governorship seat

70 battles for Imo governorship seat

…Nwosu, Uzodinma, Araraume, Ihedioha lead pack

…how the candidates stand

*547,17 uncollected PVCs

 Seventy governorship candidates have gotten the nod of the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) to contest the governorship election in Imo State, making it the state with the highest number of governorship candidates in the country.

The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Francis Ezeonu, disclosed this on Friday while briefing candidates and party Chieftains on the preparedness of the Commission.

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Ezeonu, disclosed that with barely two weeks to the commencement of the general elections, 547,017 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), were yet to be collected at the various INEC offices in the 27 Council Areas of the state.

He urged those that are yet to collect their PVCs to do so before February 8 when the PVCs would be quarantined and the registrants denied access to them until after the general elections.

According to Ezeonu in the meeting attended by INEC National Commissioner in charge of Imo and Abia States, Prof. Okey Ibeano, representatives of the Police, Air Force and other para- military Agencies, “Imo has 70 governorship candidates from various political parties contesting in the March 2, general elections, the highest in the country. We are number one here. God be the glory. We are appealing to the political parties to learn to do the right thing”.

He continued that, “as at today the records show that there are 547,017 uncollected PVCs. This is not encouraging. On February 8, we will deposit them and quarantine them where no one will have access to them until after general elections.”

Ezeonu, stated further that “there is an understanding with the accredited political parties agents, the security agencies and journalists to assemble at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on February 14, for distribution of sensitive materials to the 106 Registration Areas Camps (RACs), for quick distribution to polling units and voting points”, adding that restrictions would be enforced at the CBN premises.

He also disclosed that the commission would supply the list of all the RACs and phone numbers to the public.

In his speech, the National Commissioner for Imo and Abia, Prof Okey Ibeanu, stated that the Commission had received necessary funds to the tune of N189.2 billion as appropriated by the National Assembly for the conduct of the polls, disclosing that there were 120,000 polling units and 172 voting locations in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

His words: “We are ready. We have received all the funding required. We have made available all the PVCs, expecting 100 per cent collection but that is not the case. We have started receiving sensitive materials. They are being deposited at the CBN. Training of the Presiding Assistants and Presiding Officers is going on, ad hoc staff later. We have 106 RACs which will ensure that the Electoral Officers (EOs) will activate them.

Ibeanu assured that accreditation of voters and voting will commence at 8am each voting day with the arrangement, using RACs system.

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