The Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Udoh Tom says the Bayelsa State Independence Electoral Commission, (INEC) is ready for the forthcoming governorship election that will take place on the 16th of November 2019.
Mr. Udoh Tom stated this in an interview with Voice of Nigeria, at the INEC head office in Yenagoa, the Capital of Bayelsa State, South-South, Nigeria.
According to him, ‘’we are getting prepared every day for the elections. We just published the notice on the 17th of this month that the election will take place on the 16th of November 2019’’.
He went further to mention the various voting points that will be used during the election in Bayelsa State and also the number of registered voters in the state, ‘’we have about two thousand, two hundred and forty-four (2244) polling points in Bayelsa State. The registered voters in the state are about nine hundred and twenty-three thousand, one hundred and eighty-two registered voters. Electorates who have not collected their voter cards are about 50 thousand, one hundred and sixty cards that are left in our office’’.
Mr. Udoh Tom stated that the Bayelsa State INEC has started sanitising electorates and stakeholders in the state to work together in unity and also ensure that there is peace before, during and after the forth coming governorship election.
‘’As a commission, our programmes are time bound. We have started meeting with the people, sanitizing them to be on the same page in what we are doing in INEC. We started talking with political parties, youths and others which is ongoing presently. In addition, on the 26th of this month, we are going to hold stakeholders meeting’’.
According to Mr. Udoh Tom, the Bayelsa State INEC has started receiving sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the election, ‘’we have started receiving sensitive non-sensitive materials for the forth coming governorship election and we are still receiving them. We are checking our stork and the smart cards, ballot boxes are ready on ground’’.
‘’we have 105 registration areas in Bayelsa State’’ he noted.
Speaking on the number of registered political parties, he said ‘’last general elections, we had about 42 registered political parties and this been a governorship election, maybe we will have more than the last election. We will be able to decide the total numbers of political parties that are participating after the parties’ primary’’.
Mr. Udoh Tom, assured Bayelsans, that fourteen days to the election all the election materials will be ready, ‘’we have promised ourselves that fourteen days to the election, all our materials will be ready’’.
‘’Majority of the personnel that will be used during the election will be INEC staff who have the priority of conducting election. Transporters, the road safety and others agencies will be used during the election, Mr. Udoh Tom, added.
The Bayelsa State INEC Commissioner, advised Bayelsa State electorates and politicians to shun all kind of violence during the forthcoming governorship election in the state and electorates should go to their voting units with only their Permanent Voters Card.
‘’INEC has all time declared that elections are not war. Electorates should go to their polling units to vote with only their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs). Cast your vote to whoever you want in your polling unit. Don’t kill your brother because of election because you might need your brother tomorrow,” he appealed.
Mr. Udoh Tom went further to say that election is not a do or die affair, the winner of the governorship election should carry Bayelsans alone in his government and those who loose should bear it in mind that someday they will win, ‘’When you win, you should be able to be minions in your winning and make sure that you are ruling the whole people in Bayelsa and not a party, you should carry everybody alone in the state. Those who loose, should loose gallantly, knowing that two persons cannot win one election at the same time, your day may come tomorrow’’.