•To conduct 4 bye elections in 30 days
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has re-assured that it will continue to improve the quality of elections in the country, drawing from the lessons learnt from the collective experience of having conducted elections into 181 constituencies since the 2015 general elections.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu gave the assurance yesterday, even as he revealed that the commission would be conducting four bye-elections within the next 30 days.
Prof Yakubu stated these at the opening of a regular meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) at the INEC headquarters in Abuja.
The time-table and schedule of activities for the bye-elections, according to him, will be released tomorrow (Friday).
The bye-elections are : the National Assembly elections in respect of Bauchi South Senatorial district, Katsina North senatorial district and the Lokoja/Koton Karfe Federal constituency in Kogi state. While the fourth one, a state assembly is in respect of Obudu I state constituency. The seats were declared vacant by the National Assembly and state assembly.
The INEC Chairman explained that meetings with stakeholders in the affected states are ongoing.
His words, “the commission is set to conduct bye-elections to fill the vacancies in the four constituencies which have a total of over two (2million) million registered voters spread across 3,355 polling units in 234 wards and 22 Local Government Areas.”
“Consultations with stakeholders in the affected states are ongoing. Considering the requirement of the law that such elections shall be conducted by the commission within 30 days following the declaration of vacancy, we are planning to conduct all the four elections on the same date.
“The detailed timetable and scheduled of activities will be released on Friday this week,” he added.
“The bye-elections will also serve as a test ground for the various innovations and improvement made on the process ahead of the Osun governorship poll scheduled for Saturday, 22nd September 2018.
“These bye-elections will offer the Commission yet another opportunity to fine-tune our processes and procedures in preparation for the Osun state governorship election and ultimately the 2019 general elections,” he stressed.
Yakubu assured Nigerians that the commission will continue to improve the quality of elections in the country.
He added, “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 the 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 (FCT)”.
On the meeting with the RECs, Yakubu said the discussions will focus mainly on the ongoing Continuous Voters’ Registration (CVR) exercise.
He explained that after wide ranging consultations with stakeholders, the current exercise will be suspended on 17th August 2018.
“So far, a total of 10,292,647 Nigerians have been registered as at Frday 13th July 2018,” he said.
Yakubu assured all registered voters that their PVCs will be available for collection before the 2019 general elections.