Edo 2016: INEC confirms Sept 10 election date •Commences training of presiding officers •Distributes PVCs Friday

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has confirmed September 10, as the date for governorship election in Edo State.

This  was  contained in a statement signed by chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and released in Benin, Edo State, on Monday.

It said that the notice of confirmation is in accordance with Section 46 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

According to the commission, the election process will commence at 800 a.m. in all polling units across the 18 local government areas in the state, with accreditation and voting conducted simultaneously.

It advised all eligible voters to ensure that they cast their votes only in centres where they registered.

It also said that only persons whose names appeared on the voter register and had valid voter card would vote in the election.

Meanwhile, INEC has commenced a three-day training of Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers ahead of the  governorship election in the state.

The Public Relations Officer  (PRO),of INEC in the state, Mrs Priscilla Sule, said on Monday, that the training would hold simultaneously in all the 18 local government areas of the state.

Sule said the trainees would take charge of the 2, 627 polling units and 4, 011 voting points in the state.

Also, INEC has started sensitising market women in Edo State, in preparation for the  governorship election, the commission’s PRO,  has, said.

Sule made this known in Benin on Monday, saying the sensitisation was aimed at enlightening eligible women on the need to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and vote.

She said “we have been sensitising them on the need to check their polling units and be sure that their names are among those cleared to vote.

“We also try to educate them on the need to seek assistance from any of the election officials at the polling units where it becomes necessary.’’

She urged the women to strive toward asserting their rights, pointing out that they could only have a say in government if they participated in the process that determined who governed Edo State.

Meanwhile, INEC has said it would commence distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), to registered voters in Edo State, on Friday, ahead of September10 governorship election.

The deputy director, Voter Education and Publicity, at the commission, Mr Nick Dazang, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday, in Abuja.

Dazang said that the distribution of the cards would be done from Friday to Sunday at registration areas and wards across the state “for registered voters who are yet to obtain the PVC’’.

“The distribution of PVC in Edo State  is tentatively and provisionally scheduled from September 2 to 4.

“This will afford the voters who have not collected their PVCs, the opportunity to exercise their civic rights in the governorship election scheduled for September 10,’’ Dazang said.

He, however, advised registered voters in the state, including those that were registered in the recent exercise, to ensure that they collected the cards within the stipulated period.

On preparation for the election, Dazang said that the commission was “fully ready’’ to conduct free, fair and credible poll in the state.

He said that while the commission had already distributed the non-sensitive materials, the sensitive items would be moved from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) vault in Benin to the commission’s office for distribution on Wednesday.

He assured that smart card readers would be distributed in time and well charged ahead for effective performance during polling.

On security during the exercise, the director said that INEC had been meeting with security agencies under the platform of Inter- Agency Committee on Election Security (ICES).

According to him, the security committee is working to ensure a secured election environment.

“We are also having our final stakeholders meeting in Benin on Wednesday, to be addressed by the Chairman of INEC and the Inspector-General of Police as part of efforts to ensure that the election is peaceful,’’ he said.