The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says it is introducing new measures or rules as a way of guiding the electorate and stakeholders in the forth coming Imo North Senatorial bye-election.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC), in Imo, Prof. Francis Ezeonu made this known at a press briefing he held with newsmen in the office headquarters, Owerri on Monday.
Contrary to the former time of 8 a.m for commencement of elections, the Imo North senatorial bye-election scheduled for Oct 31, will start by 8:30 a.m and end by 2: 30p.m.
Ezeonu said that the electorate, party agents, INEC adhoc and main staff and other stakeholders are expected to observe COVID-19 protocols which include wearing of face masks, washing of hands with soap under running water, use of sanitizer, and social distancing.
He said the commission will provide digital thermometers to check the temperature of all that would be involved in the election while an election result portal had been created.
“There are new rules guiding the election as a way of protecting our people against COVID-19.
“We are expecting people coming for the election to come with their face masks; we are maintaining social distancing; we going to have saniters and digital thermometers.
“In a bid to improve on the transparency of the election, INEC created an election result portal where polling units results would be published as they come to enable one monitor the election results,” he said.
The Imo INEC boss said that the forth coming Imo North senatoral bye-election would be conducted in six local government areas (LGAs) that make 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 are yet to be published, adding that it is the sole responsibility of the political parties to produce their candidates for election after their primaries.
Ezeonu commended the media for being a critical partner in the election process which he said helped to change the narrative.
He said soon media guidelines for accreditation would be released to avoid the spread of corona virus, while the commission would be meeting with other critical stakeholders on the forth coming election.
Our correspondent reports that the election is scheduled to 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.