Following a review of the Last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says it would conduct fresh elections in areas where the exercise could not hold due to violence or other infractions.
The INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in a statement, said the elections would now be conducted in March 9 alongside the Governorship and State Assembly polls.
According to Mr Okoye, the decision was arrived at the meeting of the Commission with its Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, Thursday in Abuja, to review the last Saturday’s elections and assess preparations for the Governorship, State Houses of Assembly and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Area Council Elections slated for Saturday, March 9, 2019.
Mr Okoye disclosed that the meeting also acknowledged the delays in the commencement of elections in a number of polling units which necessitated the extension of the closing of polls in the affected areas.
According to Okoye, “The meeting noted a number of cancellations in certain areas due to violence, which prevented the Commission from deploying personnel and materials for the elections.
“In a number of locations, it could not conclude the elections due to disruptions and deliberate noncompliance with the use of the Smart Card Reader SCR, contrary to the lNEC Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections.
“Consequently, the meeting decided that supplementary elections will be conducted in all areas where elections did not take place and/or where returns could not be made on Saturday, 9th March 2019 alongside the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections. Knocks erring security personnel
“The meeting also assessed the role of security agencies in the elections. While acknowledging their professionalism in the deployment of election personnel and materials in a safe and timely manner, the conduct of certain members of the security agencies in some states is a matter of serious concern to the Commission.
“This matter will be further discussed directly with the inspector-General of Police within the ambit of the inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security ICCES.
“In preparation for the Governorship, State Houses of Assembly and PCT Area Council elections,” Mr Okoye noted.