The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to hold National Assembly bye-elections in 14 states of the federation covering seven senatorial districts and 24 federal constituencies.
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this yesterday in Abuja at the consultative meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Elections Security (ICCES).
“On Saturday, March 9, 2019, Nigerians are once again going to the polls to elect Governors in 29 States, 991 members of Houses of Assembly in all the States of the Federation, six chairmen as well as 62 councillors for the Area Councils in the FCT.
“A total of 1,082 candidates will be elected by citizens across the country. Learning from the experience of the Presidential and National Assembly elections held two weeks ago, the commission has effectively tackled the challenge of logistics. Materials for the election have been delivered to all States and the FCT. “Movement to the Local Government Areas will be completed today.
“By tomorrow, all materials and relevant personnel will arrive at the Registration Area Centres (RACs). With this arrangement, we are confident that all polling units will open at 8:00am nationwide,” Yakubu said.
He said that National Assembly elections in the affected areas were disrupted mainly by acts of violence involving ballot box snatching, abduction of INEC officials, over voting and the failure to adhere to regulations and guidelines.
He added that the number of registered voters in the polling units involved in each constituency is more than the votes received by the candidate with the highest number of votes.
“Supplementary elections must, therefore, be conducted to determine the winners. Consequently, the Commission decided to conduct the supplementary National Assembly polls on Saturday alongside the Governorship and State Assembly elections,” he said.
Yakubu said the list of candidates that emerged winners in the Senatorial and House of Representatives elections will be available on INEC website later.
“The commission is concerned that many of our materials, including ballot boxes, voting cubicles, voters’ registers and Smart Card Readers were lost to acts of hooliganism and thuggery in the elections held two weeks ago. Most worrisome is the attack on electoral officials. Some of our staff were abducted and taken a hostage in an attempt to disrupt elections or influence the outcome.
“In fact, some of the supplementary elections I referred to earlier were caused by such acts of thuggery. I am confident that working together with the security agencies, we will consolidate on the largely peaceful conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections while also taking decisive steps to deal with the minority of violators intent on disrupting the conduct of peaceful elections,” Yakubu lamented.
He, however, said the commission will not tolerate the act of holding its officials hostage and forcing them to declare winners under duress.
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