Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has said supplementary elections will hold in 106 polling units in four local government areas of Plateau state, following the cancellation of the Southern Senatorial District and the Jos North/ Bassa Federal Constituency, which was declared inconclusive by the Commission.
The supplementary elections will be conducted on Saturday, 9th March, 2019, alongside the Governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.
A statement to this effect was signed and issued to Conscience Triumph in Jos on Monday, by the Head of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Osaritin Imahlyereobo, which said 24 parties have fielded-in candidates for governorship elections, while 312 candidates are vying for the 24 seats of State House of Assembly in Plateau state.
According to him, elections are expected to take place in the 2,631 polling units in the state, adding that INEC approved supplementary elections for Plateau South Senatorial District and Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency where elections were declared inconclusive.
The statement further explained that the supplementary elections will take place in 6 polling units in Shendam, eight polling units in Wase, twenty-seven polling units in Qua’an Pan – all of Plateau South Senatorial District; that is, in 3 local government areas of the state.
Also the supplementary elections will take place in 65 polling units in Jos North/ Bassa Federal Constituency at Tundun-Wada/Kabong registration area.
He appealed to voters to peacefully participate in the forthcoming Governorship and House of Assembly supplementary elections, and assured plateau citizens that measures have been put in place to ensure timely deployment of personnel and materials for early commencement of the exercise.
According to him, “As part of this effort, the batching and deployment of sensitive materials will commence on Wednesday, March 6th, 2019, at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Jos branch, to local government areas of the state. The same materials will be delivered to the Registration Area Centers (RACs), which are to be activated on Friday, 8th March, 2019,” Imahlyereobo stated.
He assured that the Commission has taken serious view of the deliberate non-compliance with the use of the Smart Card Readers (SCRs) contrary to the INEC regulations and guidelines for conduct of elections as well as failure to authenticate voters’ fingerprints in some areas.
While proffering solution to this looming ‘hold-up,’ he stated that “The Commission has, therefore, decided that SCRs must be used in all polling units, as non-compliance will lead to cancellation of results emanating from such polling units.”
The Head of Voter Education and Publicity noted that, Section 47(C) of the regulations and guidelines states thus: “Where there is resistance to the use of the SCR, enter zero votes for the affected polling units and proceed,” adding that, Sub-section ‘B’ also states that, “Where there is willful obstruction or resistance to deployment/distribution of election materials, enter zero votes for the affected polling units and proceed.”
Others, he said in Sub-section ‘E’ that, “Where the Commission determines that violent disruptions accrued at a substantial number of polling units before announcement of results, a fresh date for election in the affected polling units shall be announced by the Commission.”