Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has rescheduled the Kogi and Bayelsa states governorship elections to November 16, 2019, following the appeal from the government and people of Bayelsa State.
INEC had on April 9, 2019, released the timetable and schedule of activities for the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship polls, fixing November 2, 2019, for the elections in both States. However, the commission received several appeals from the government, state Assembly, elders, religious leaders, traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders in Bayelsa State, that the election date coincides with the state’s annual Thanksgiving Day which is backed by the Bayelsa State Thanksgiving Day Law 2012.
In the statement signed by National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education committee, Festus Okoye, the commission explained that after due considerations, it decided to fix November 16 as new date for the elections.
“After a careful consideration of the appeals, the commission at its regular weekly meeting held on Thursday, May 16, decided to shift the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states to Saturday, November 16, 2019.
“The timelines for all other activities leading to the elections have also been adjusted to align with the new date. The amended timetable and schedule of activities for the elections start with notice of election scheduled for August 17, 2019, to the main election on November 16.
According to the timetable, the collection for forms for the political parties wishing to participate starts from August 18, just as the conduct of party primaries including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries holds between August 18 to September 5, 2019.
“The commencement of campaign by the political parties in public in accordance with Section 99(1) of Electoral Act, 2010, which provides 90 days before polling day, starts August 18, 2019. The last day for the submission of forms CF001 and CF002 at the INEC headquarters is September 9, 2019. The last day for withdrawal of candidates and replacement of withdrawn candidates by the political parties is September 23, 2019.
“The last day for the submission of names of polling agents for the election to the electoral office and the last days for the campaign are November 2 and 14, 2019,” the commission stipulated in the released timetable and schedule of activities.