Edo guber: INEC warns against late application to observe polls

Ahead of the September 21 Edo state governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that it would not entertain requests outside the deadline for the receipt of applications from interested observer groups or process applications that do not meet the criteria for observation of elections.

Chairman of the Commission Prof Mahmood Yakubu who stated this on Tuesday at the second quarterly meeting with the CSOs, reminded them of the need to submit applications for election observation in earnest along with the required supporting documents and a realistic number of individual observers. 

Yakubu acknowledged that since the last meeting with the CSOs two months ago, many accredited observers had submitted their reports but a few are yet to do so. 

He urged those yet to submit their reports to do the needful, admitting that the reports were important for the commission in reviewing and improving the processes and procedures.

The INEC chair said, “As we inch closer to Election Day in Edo state, it is also imperative to remind CSOs of the need to submit your applications for election observation in earnest along with the required supporting documents and a realistic number of individual observers. 

“Doing so will enable the Commission to produce and deliver the identity cards for observers in good time. The Commission will not entertain requests outside the deadline for the receipt of applications from interested observer groups or process applications that do not meet the criteria. 

“For emphasis, submission of reports from previous accreditation in the manner required by the Commission is mandatory for continuous participation in election observation. 

“Since our last meeting two months ago, many accredited observers have submitted their reports but a few are yet to do so. We urge you to do the needful. Your reports are important for us in reviewing and improving our processes and procedures.”

The INEC boss appealed to CSOs to join in mobilising prospective registrants for the forthcoming Continuous Voter Registration exercise, particularly, on the need to register early and not wait until the deadline approaches when the registration centres will be inundated by eleventh hour registrants.

The exercise to hold simultaneously in Edo and Ondo states has been scheduled for May 27 to June 5 this year.