The Nigerian electoral commission, INEC, has said it is ready for the Saturday’s re-run elections, scheduled to hold in 28 constituencies across 11 states in the country.
The commission also warned the elections would not accommodate the substitution of candidates, as the process had elapsed.
INEC had announced a date for the rerun elections in the country. It said the rerun polls, which arose from 30 court-ordered petitions after the 2019 general elections, will be held in January 2020.
The INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission was prepared for the polls on Tuesday, while swearing-in two newly elected state Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
Mr Yakubu also explained that six of 28 re-run elections ”involve the entire constituencies while the remaining 22 elections will be held only in some polling units.”
According to him, ”the only constituency exempted in the substitution of candidates is Gamawa Federal Constituency in Bauchi State as well as Agwara State Constituency in Niger State where elections will be held without the candidates and parties that were declared winners in the general election.”
The INEC chairman also assured Nigerians of credible elections, saying the commission will work with the security agencies to ensure adequate protection of election officials, accredited observers, and the media.
”I wish to assure Nigerians that the commission is ready for the re-run elections. All sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been deployed to the states, stakeholders’ meetings have been held, security arrangements are being finalised while training and posting of ad hoc staff,
”As well as the configuration of Smart Card Readers, are ongoing. Where the elections involve entire constituencies, National as well as some Resident Electoral Commissioners will be deployed,” he said.
Mr Yakubu congratulated the new RECs saying ”we look forward to working with you in the best interest of our country.”
The electoral officers are Alalibo Johnson, the REC officer for Cross Rivers State and Umar Gajiram who was also deployed to Taraba State.
Mr Johnson is replacing the former officer, Frankland Briyia, who resigned his position as the state INEC commissioner on August 15, after declaring his intention to contest in the November 16 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Gajiram is replacing late Baba Yusuf, the former Taraba State REC officer.