THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the commencement of the 2018 Ekiti governorship election process, as the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Professor Abdul-Ganiyu Raji gave the notice of election on Wednesday.
Professor Raji, who addressed a press conference at the commission’s secretariat, in Ado-Ekiti, said the notice given was in accordance with Section 30(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
Also at the press conference, Professor Raji announced that 531 additional registration centres had been created in the 16 local government areas of the state as part of efforts of the commission to ensure more people registered for the election.
He explained that the continuous voter registration in the new registration centres would be between Wednesday, April 11 and April 16, 2018, simultaneously in 177 registration areas across the state.
According to the REC, the exercise became necessary so as to move it closer to the people and enhance more participation in the governorship election.
Professor Raji said campaign by political parties for the election would open from April 15, 2018, and end midnight of July 12, 2018.
He added that political parties were expected to submit the names of their agents by June 30, 2018, saying any party that failed to meet up with the date would be considered as having no agent for the governorship election.
He said: “In line with the section 30(1) of the electoral act 2013 as amended, it provides that not later than 90 days to the election, INEC must give the notice of election and by the constitution, today marks the day we should give the notice of election. As the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti state, and on behalf of the leadership of the commission ,I hereby give the notice of the governorship election today 90 days to the poll.
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“I want to urge members of the public who are yet to register and have attained the age to come out and register as we are moving all these centres to them. We want to remove all the bottlenecks people have been complaining of which ranges from economic, to distance and also some political reasons. We are bringing the registration to their doorsteps.
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“And we are promising and assuring the people that few weeks after this exercise, the PVCs will be ready for collection till the eve of the election and we expect the people to go to our offices for their cards because of no PVC, no election.”
The REC added that 513,000 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) had been distributed in the state, saying 218,000 cards are yet to be collected for those who registered before April 2017.