76,575 voters to participate in Kogi Assembly by-election

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says 76, 575 voters will participate in the Dec. 5 by-election to fill the only vacant seat in the Kogi State House of Assembly.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. James Apam, who disclosed this on Thursday in Lokoja, said that the seat became vacant in June following the death of John Abah, member representing Ibaji Local Government Area in the assembly.

According to Apam, 96 per cent of the voters have collected their permanent voter cards, and that the election will hold in 148 polling units spread across 10 wards in the council area.

He said that 630 ad hoc staff comprising one Returning Officer, 10 collation officers, presiding officers and assistant presiding officers had been recruited and trained to handle the election.

The REC said that the election would hold from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the election day, adding that accreditation and voting would hold simultaneously.

He assured of the readiness of the commission to conduct a hitch-free election, saying that all non- sensitive materials were already on ground while sensitive materials would come in on Dec.3.

“ All smart card readers to be used have been reconfigured and are ready for the election ,” he said.

Apam said COVID-19 safety protocols would be observed during the poll, urging voters , party agents, observers and election officials to come to the polling units with their face masks.

He also said that infrared thermometers and hand sanitisers would be provided at polling booths, while voters would be made to observe physical distancing.

He said that all security agencies in the state had been contacted to provide maximum security for electoral officials, materials and voters before , during and after the election.

The commissioner appealed to candidates , parties and other stakeholders to co-operate with commission to enable it to deliver a credible and acceptable election.