INEC To Conduct Rerun, Bye-elections In 26 States Saturday
Ahead of this Saturday‘s bye and re-run elections, across 26 states, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is delivering materials to the affected locations. The election will hold in 80 local government areas in 26 states of the federation.
The commission, however, sought the support of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to expeditiously deliver materials to three locations in the North East, South East and the South West geo-political zones of the country due to the size and distance of some constituencies.
INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu stated these when he visited the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, at the Nigerian Air Force Headquarters in Abuja yesterday.
Yakubu said, the evacuation of materials from the focal airports to the states where election will hold will be handled by the commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria as has been the standard practice.
He said the inspection and movement of all materials to the various local government areas and beyond thereafter will be done with the full participation of all stakeholders, particularly agents of political parties and candidates, observers and the media in a transparent manner.
„This weekend, the commission will conduct bye-elections and re-run elections in 26 states of the federation. In nine states, two senators, four members of the House of Representatives and three members of State Houses of Assembly will be elected in bye-elections to replace members who passed on or resigned their memberships of the national and state assemblies.
In other states, re-run elections will take place at designated constituencies or polling units as ordered by the Election Appeal Tribunals. In all the elections will fill vacancies in three senatorial districts, 17 Federal and 28 state constituencies spread across 80 local government areas, 575 registration areas/wards and 8,934 polling units involving 4,904,627 registered voters out of which 4,613,291 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) have been collected.
„In handling such a huge national assignment, the commission cannot do it alone. That is why we seek to mobilise every national asset, including NAF. It is in realisation of this objective that the law empowers the commission to seek the support of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the delivery of materials and the protection of election officials as clearly provided for in Section 27(3) of the Electoral Act 2022,“ the INEC chairman said.
In his response, the chief of the air staff, Abubakar assured INEC that the Nigerian Air Force remains willing, able and ready to continue to support the commission as it has always done in the past.
He however reminded Yakubu that there are some outstanding bills which are yet to be cleared by INEC, saying the settlement of those bills will enable Air Force to serve the commission better.
Abubakar also said when NAF gets very short notices to airlift materials, it becomes a bit difficult for the force because of challenges of serviceability of aircrafts and other logistical support within its system.
„We have a couple of challenges in terms of serviceability so the point here is that we need to have information earlier so we can plan and make sure that these election materials arrive where they are needed well ahead of time.
„When we get very short notices and because of challenges of serviceability and other logistical support also within our own system, it makes it a bit difficult. We get very anxious because we know we have to deliver these materials; we must be able to deliver before the election takes place.
„So, we will appreciate if we get this information a bit ahead of time so that we plan ahead and then you can be rest assured that everything we have will be delivered at the right place at the right time.
„I would like to seize this opportunity to remind the chairman that there are some outstanding bills which are yet to be cleared by INEC. The settlement of those bills will enable us to serve you better,“ he noted.