By Chidi Nkwopara, Owerri
No fewer than 70 candidates, according to the latest information released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, are set for the Imo State governorship seat, in the forthcoming general elections.
The Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Professor Francis Ezeonu, disclosed this yesterday, while addressing political party chiefs and their candidates in Owerri.
“Seventy political parties are fielding gubernatorial candidates in the forthcoming general elections in Imo State. So, Imo State is number one in this regard, in Nigeria. I want to assure you all that INEC is ready for the elections”, Ezeonu said. Giving an update on the collection of permanent voters card, PVCs, in the state, the REC expressed regret that no fewer than 547,017 PVCs remain unclaimed, as at last Wednesday. While saying that “this is not encouraging”, Professor Ezeonu also reminded the party chieftains that INEC would stop the distribution of PVCs on February 8, 2019.
“All the unclaimed PVCs will thereafter, be quarantined in the Central Bank of Nigeria, for safe keeping.
This will also eliminate the fears that such PVCs could go into wrong hands ahead of the general elections”, Ezeonu said.
Speaking also, the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Imo and Abia States, Professor Okey Ibeanu, said that the Commission has received the funds ahead of the elections.
“The sum of N189.2 billion was appropriated by the National Assembly, for the conduct of the general elections. At the end of exercise, we shall dutifully account for the money given to us,to prosecute the national assignment”, Professor Ibeanu said.