From: Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Niger State, Professor Samuel Egwu, has said that no fewer than 31 gubernatorial candidates from various political parties are vying for the forthcoming general election in the state.
Egwu made the disclosure yesterday in a press conference preparatory to the conduct of the elections, which was held at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Minna, the state capital, where he said that only two of them are females with seven of the number as Deputy Governors.
He added that 37 persons are vying for the senatorial seats of the three zones in the state, including four female candidates, while House of Representative members has 126, with seven females inclusive and State Assembly members has 361 vying for the 27 seats with 28 female candidates.
The REC assured that adequate arrangements have been put in place to ensure a hitch free polls in terms of logistics distribution and reiterated his determination for free, fair, credible, acceptable and rancor free elections.
He stated that it requires about 22,034 ad hoc staff for the 23,000 polling units in the state, while appealing to the media to be sensitive in their reportage and not to ignite crisis in whatever way, hence the training of its workers to achieve success.
The REC however disclosed that the state INEC had in the last two years registered over 400,000 people for Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), making it a total of 2,390,035 eligible voters in the state, adding however that 2,167,788 PVCs have been collected by their owners from 2011 to date.
He further noted that 22,839 persons seeking for transfer of PVC including 6,436 representing only 28%, have come forward to collect their PVC and urged those involved to urgently collect theirs’ so as to exercise their franchise.