The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has yesterday issued a Notice of Election for the July 14 poll in Ekiti State. The issuance signaled the beginning of activities toward the conduct of the election.
However, the ban on campaigns will be lifted on April 14. Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Prof. AbdulGaniy Olayinka Raji, who addressed a briefing at INEC’s office in Ado-Ekiti, said the notice was issued 90 days before the election.
He said the electoral umpire would conduct a credible, transparent, free and fair election. Raji explained that in accordance with Section 30 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, INEC must give a notice of 90 days.
He said campaigns would begin from April 15 and end midnight of July 12.
Raji added that parties will, on June 30, submit names of their agents.
According to him, any party that fails to meet up with the date will have no agent.
The INEC chief said after July 12, parties would not be allowed to go on air to campaign or run adverts and jingles for their candidates.
He said: “Any party that fails to submit names of its agents by June 30 will not be allowed to field agents at the election.
“After July 12, no jingles or adverts of candidates and parties will be entertained. It is the job of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and security agencies to enforce the law.”
Raji said as part of efforts to ensure more people registered for the election, 531 centres had been created.
He said the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) in the new centers would begin between April 11 and 16 in 177 registration areas.
According to him, the exercise became necessary, to move it closer to the people and enhance participation in the election.
Raji said: “In line with 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, and on behalf of the leadership of the commission, I give the notice of the governorship election today 90 days to the poll.
“I urge people who are yet to register and have attained 18 years to register, as we are moving the centres to them.
“We want to remove bottlenecks people complain of; from economic to distance and some political reasons. We are bringing registration to their doorsteps.
“We promise the people that a few weeks after the exercise; their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) will be ready for collection. We expect them to go to our offices for their cards, because no PVC, no election.”
He said 513,000 PVCs have been distributed, adding that 218,000 cards are yet to be collected by those who registered before April 2017.
Raji advised stakeholders to cooperate with INEC to ensure a successful poll.