The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has hinted that it plans to conduct four outstanding bye-elections into vacant seats in the National and State Assembly for which the Commission only received official declaration of the vacancies recently.
“Considering the requirement of the law that such elections shall be conducted by the Commission within 30 days following the declaration of the vacancy, we are planning to conduct all four elections on the same date. The detailed Timetable and Schedule of Activities will be released on Friday this week”.
Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the disclosure today while addressing Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), during the Commission’s regular meeting with the RECs at the INEC Headquarters, Abuja.
He said “the Commission has received the official declaration of vacancies from the National Assembly in respect of Bauchi South Senatorial District, Katsina North Senatorial District and the Lokoja/Koton Karfe Federal Constituency.
“A similar declaration was made by the Cross River State House of Assembly in respect of Obudu I State Constituency. Consequently, the Commission is set to conduct bye-elections to fill the vacancies in the 4 constituencies which have a total of over 2 million registered voters spread across 3,355 polling u nits in 234 Wards and 22 Local Government Areas.”
Professor Yakubu was optimistic that conduct of the bye elections would further avail the Commission the opportunity to “fine-Tune” its processes and procedures even as it prepared for the Osun State governorship election and the 2019 general elections.
His words: “We wish to once again reassure Nigerians that the Commission will continue to improve the quality of our elections drawing from the lessons learnt from the collective experience of having conducted elections into 181 constituencies since 2015 general elections made up of 6 Governorship elections, 11 Senatorial Districts, 23 Federal Constituencies, 73 State Constituencies and 68 Area Council Constituencies in the Federal capital territory”.
The INEC Chairman while reaffirming that the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise will be suspended on the 17th of August 2018, also said, “so far, a total of 10,292,647 Nigerians have been registered as at Friday 13th July 2018”.
Professor Yakubu further reassured all registered voters that their PVCs would be available for collection before the 2019 general elections.
Editor-in-Chief: Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi
Editor: Aliyu M. Bello