By Friday Idachaba
Lokoja -Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission (KOSIEC), has scheduled Dec. 12, for conduct of elections into the 21 Local Government Areas in the state and presented a timetable and schedule of activities for the polls.
Mamman Nda-Eri, chairman of the Commission, disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting for the official declaration of Notice of Conduct of the elections on Wednesday in Lokoja.
Nda-Eri said that the commission which was inaugurated on March 11, had the core mandate to conduct free, fair and credible local government polls in the nearest time possible but was constrained by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I urge all of us to ensure the conduct of elections devoid of rancour and acrimony in our various domains. We will not only be unbiased but seen to be unbiased.
“On our own path, we pledge our unalloyed loyalty to the people of Kogi to conduct free, fair and credible elections in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).’’
According to the time table and Schedule of Activities for the council polls presented by Nda-Eri, the activities started Wednesday, Sept. 9, with the stakeholders meeting.
He said that collection of nomination forms from political parties will start on Sept. 24, and end on Oct. 2, while Oct. 6, until Oct. 13, is scheduled for conduct of party primaries including resolution of disputes arising from such primaries.
This, according to him is to enable political parties to democratically nominate candidates for the elections as required by law adding that all issues relating to the primaries must be concluded on or before Oct. 13.
The commission chairman added that among other activities the last day for submission of names of polling agents by political parties would be Nov. 25, while Dec. 10, is the last day for political party campaigns.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Ede Ayuba, assured that security agencies in the state would collectively provide the needed security and provide level playing ground for all candidates and parties.
“We will be fair to everybody and to all and play the game by the rules and, except you contravene the provisions of the Electoral Act, will be friendly” he said.
Chairman of the state Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Iliyasu Badanga urge the commission to maintain the highest level of probity and accountability to produce free, fair, credible and “believable” elections come Dec. 12.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olujumu of Ijumu, Oba Williams Ayeni; the Chairman of Jamatul Nasir Islam (JNI), Alhaji Isa Adeboye; and representative of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Idris Miliki; all called for conduct of free, fair and credible council elections. (NAN)