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INEC assures readiness for March 19 Council Poll



Ahead of Saturday’s area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured all political parties, participating in the March 19 poll of a level playing ground.

It also promised to do everything within its capacity to ensure that voters freely exercise their right to elect candidates of their choice, warning that there won’t be any room for snatching of ballot boxes and papers, as the Police would be on ground at all polling units.

The FCT INEC Residential Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Jacob Jatau, who made the promise, said elections in the FCT have always been peaceful, hence the need for political parties to conduct themselves for the elections to be peaceful like the previous ones.

He noted that accreditation and voting would go on simultaneously with the use of the card reader machine, adding that the decision to adopt the modality followed the successes recorded in re-run elections conducted in some states.

“We have improved on the use of card readers in FCT elections. On our part we will play according to the rule and we want the voters to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner.

“The commission registered about 82,000 voters during the exercise and we are able to produce their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), which are currently being distributed. I urge everyone that registered to go and collect their PVCs before March 16, closing date.”

In all, a total of 30 candidates from 14 political parties will contest the chairmanship seats of the six area councils. Also, about 206 candidates will contest the councillorship positions, with 44 observer groups approved to participate in the poll.

According to INEC Secretary, Augusta Ogakwu, the councils are; Abaji, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC); Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje and Kwali.

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