INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it is introducing new measures to guide the electorate and stakeholders in the forthcoming Imo North Senatorial by-election.

Prof. Francis Ezeonu, the  INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Imo, said this at a news conference in Owerri on Monday.

Contrary to the former 8:00 a.m commencement time for elections, the Imo North senatorial by-election scheduled for Oct. 31, will commence at 8:30 a.m and end at 2: 30 p.m.

Ezeonu said that the electorate, party agents, INEC Adhoc, main staff and other stakeholders were expected to observe COVID-19 protocols.

He listed the protocols as wearing of face masks, washing of hands with soap under running water, use of sanitiser and social distancing.

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Ezeonu said the commission had provided digital thermometers to check the temperature of all those who would be involved in the election, while an election result portal had been created.

“In a bid to improve on the transparency of the election, INEC created an election result portal where polling units results will be published as they come to enable one monitor the election results,” he said.

Ezeonu said that the forthcoming Imo North senatorial by-election would be conducted in six Local Government Areas that made up Imo North which are Ehime-Mbano, Isiala Mbano, Obowo, Okigwe, Onuimo and Ihitte Uboma.

He said that the list of candidates from the political parties was yet to be published,  adding that it was the sole responsibility of the parties to produce their candidates for election after their primaries.

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Ezeonu commended the media for being a critical partner in the election process, which he said, had  helped to change the narrative.

He said that very soon media guidelines for accreditation would be released to avoid the spread of coronavirus, while the commission would be meeting with other critical stakeholders on the forthcoming election.

The election would hold in 64 registration centres and 692 polling units aside the voting points which would be determined by the commission.

Ezeonu enjoined politicians and Nigerians to always endeavour to do things right for the progress of the nation.

NAN