The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has exempted members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) from participating as officials in the January 25 re-run elections in Kiru/Bebeji Constituency in Kano State over security concerns.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Kano State INEC Electoral Commissioner, Professor Arab Shehu, while briefing newsmen of the commission’s preparations for the by-elections to be held in nine Local Government Areas of the state.
According to him, the exemption of the NYSC members is a proactive measure to prevent a possible reprisal over the death of an eight-year-old boy, who stumbled and later died, while being chased by a corps member.
During the briefing, Professor Shehu disclosed that all arrangements have been put in place to ensure a hitch-free re-run election on Saturday, January 25, adding sensitive materials are yet to arrive as of the filing of this report.
He said an Appeal Court in Kaduna at various sittings ordered the re-run elections in Federal and State Constituencies in which two are from Kiru/Bebeji and Tudun Wada Doguwa Constitutencies with two Polling Units in Kumbotso Constituency and 12 Polling Units in four other in Bunkure, Madobi, Minjibir and Rogo Constituencies, among others.
According to him, the re-run elections will be conducted in sixty registration areas across the affected local government areas with a total of 41, 4000 registered voters in 698 polling Units, 166 voting points, given a total 864 voting points.
He said, “Invitation will be sent to representatives of all political parties participating in the re-run elections as well as security agencies to witness the distribution of the (sensitive) materials.”
He added that a total of 3, 456 ad-hoc staff will be recruited, pointing out that no NYSC member will be posted to Bebeji to serve as ad-hoc staff based on security advice.
According to him, the Commission had decided that henceforth it will not allow violence to mar the credibility of the elections.
Also, Kano Commissioner of Police, Habu Ahmadu Sani, warned politicians to desist from violence before, during and after the elections.
Sani, who warned that the police would deal decisively with anyone caught attempting to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the elections, said that the police will deploy its personnel to all the Polling Units to ensure smooth and successful elections.