The Independent National Electoral Commission says it has concluded arrangements for the successful conduct of supplementary governorship, national and state Assembly elections in Kebbi and Adamawa states, as well as national and state assemblies’ elections in 24 states of the federation today (Saturday).

The governorship supplementary election will be held in 142 polling units across 20 local government areas of Kebbi State and it will be a battle royal between the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party. The initial governorship election was declared inconclusive by INEC following the cancellation of results in polling units across 20 of the 21 local government areas of the state.

Before declaring the election inconclusive, the APC candidate, Dr. Nasir Idris, was leading with 388,258 votes, as against 342,980 votes polled by the PDP candidate, Gen Aminu Bande.

In Adamawa State, supplementary elections will be held in 20 local government areas to determine the next governor of the state between Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party and Senator Aishatu Binani of the All Progressive Congress. Legislative polls will also be conducted in the state.

The March 18 governorship election in the state was declared inconclusive by INEC’s returning officer for the poll, Prof Mohammed Mele.

Fintiri had polled 31,249 votes more than his rival from the APC, Binani, at the end of collation of results from 21 local government areas of the state, INEC said because the margin of lead was less than the number of cancelled votes in 69 polling units across 47 registration areas with 37,016 Permanent Voter Cards collected, a supplementary poll would have to be held to conclude the process.

Supplementary elections would be conducted for the Kebbi North Senatorial District, two federal and eight state constituencies in the state.

INEC’s National Commissioner, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Festus Okoye, stated the commission’s readiness on Friday on the sidelines of the distribution of sensitive election materials in Birnin-Kebbi.

He said the commission was fully ready to conduct successful supplementary elections in the state.

Okoye said the commission had distributed sensitive election materials comprising ballot papers, result sheets and Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines.

He said the commission had held stakeholders’ engagement with political parties, civil society groups, organisations and security agencies to facilitate a hitch-free exercise.

Okoye stated, “Head of security agencies have promised that they have the courage, capacity and the resources to deploy adequately and effectively to all the places where supplementary elections will take place.

“On our own part, the Chairman of the commission has deployed three national commissioners to Kebbi State because of the number of elections we have here. He has also deployed directing staff members for these particular elections.

“So, we are going to have most of our staff members acting as supervisory presiding officers, LG tech and acting in various capacities just to make sure that these elections are conducted successfully.

“We are going to have a conclusion to these elections, so, by Sunday, Kebbians will be able to know who their governor is just like any other state of the federation.”

 Similarly, the REC in Oyo State, Dr Adeniran Tella, said on Friday at a stakeholders’ meeting in Ibadan that registered voters in the polling units where supplementary elections would hold were 5,926.

He said those who collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the affected polling units numbered 5,250.

Tella stated, “In the Oluyole Federal Constituency, two polling units affected have 3,014 registered voters, 2,869 of whom collected their PVCs.

“For the two polling units, 3,014 ballot papers have been supplied.

“In Ibadan North East/Ibadan South East, six polling units affected have 2,912 registered voters, 2,381 of whom collected their PVCs.

“INEC has supplied 2,917 ballot papers for the six polling units.”

He assured that Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines to be used were already configured and fully charged.

He added that polling units results would be uploaded on INEC’s Result Viewing portal real time.

In Sokoto State, INEC said the supplementary elections would be held in the 23 local government areas.

A statement by the INEC spokesman in the state, Dr Shamsudden Sidi, said the elections would be held in 522 polling units for the three senatorial districts and 466 polling units for the 10 out of the 11 federal constituencies.

INEC on Friday distributed sensitive and non-sensitive election materials for the governorship and state House of Assembly supplementary elections to 20 local government council areas where the polls will be held today (Saturday) in Adamawa State.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Yunusa Ari, during the distribution of the items, which was witnessed by representatives of political parties and their agents, gave an assurance of free, fair and credible polls.

The supplementary polls in Adamawa will hold across 69 polling units for the governorship and nine polling units for four state House of Assembly seats that were declared inconclusive for Numan, Girei, Gombi and Toungo, bringing the total number of polling units to 78.

The distribution, which started around 8.30am, saw both sensitive and non-sensitive materials being loaded into vehicles belonging to members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers for dispatch to 20 local government council areas with Fufore being the only council without any cancellation.

Two INEC national commissioners, Prof Abdullhi Abdulzuru and Dr Baba Bola, were present to supervise the handing over of the materials to electoral officers.

Speaking to journalists, Ari said all was set for the polls, which he hoped would be conducted in a peaceful and orderly fashion.

“All the sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been dispatched this morning (Friday) in good time so that they can get to their destinations in good time. The commission is determined to ensure that the polls proceed in a peaceful and orderly fashion, while we also hope that they will be judged as free, fair and credible at the end of the exercise,” he added.

Meanwhile, the police in the state have assured of heightened security, while warning anyone planning to foment trouble to stay away from election spots.

The Adamawa State Police Command Public Relations Officer, SP Suleiman Nguroje, who disclosed this, said the police were jointly working with other sister security agencies to ensure a conducive environment for the polls to be conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner.

Nguroje, in a statement made available to journalists, sued for the cooperation of members of the public and asked them to submit themselves for search wherever the need arose and report any suspicious movement around their neighbourhood to the police and be law-abiding during and after the elections.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party in Adamawa State has called on INEC to ensure that today’s (Saturday) supplementary election slated in the state is free, fair and credible.

The Director-General of the Presidential and Governorship Campaign Council, Auwal Tukur, made the demand ahead of the supplementary poll, adding that the party was battle ready to vie for each of the 37,770 votes at stake to decide the winner of the governorship contest between Governor Ahmadu Fintiri and Senator Aishatu Binani of the All Progressive Congress.

Tukur also urged INEC not to bow to any interest other than the wishes of the Adamawa electorate during the supplementary poll.

The Deputy Director PGCC, Southern Zone of the PDP, Felix Tangwami, called on the Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner to recuse himself from presiding over the supplementary poll.

He said the PDP ordinarily would have considered the supplementary election as a walkover, giving its margin of lead, but it could not do so because the REC had allegedly not observed neutrality expected of an unbiased electoral umpire.

He said the party was battle ready to meet the REC if his intention was to cheat, since all pleas for his removal had fallen on deaf ears.

Tangwami stated, “We have challenges with the REC, and we have made it clear for him to recuse himself. And it is because of his behaviour and that of certain stakeholders, whom he has pitched a tent with that we are not looking at this supplementary election as a walkover.

“But if INEC can address its behaviour properly regarding the supplementary governorship elections and it proceeds smoothly, the election is definitely a walkover.”

The president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has however urged the voting public to turn out en masse and cast their votes for candidates of the APC in today’s supplementary elections.

While asking the voters to eschew violence, Tinubu stated that the supplementary elections were equally as important as the presidential, governorship and National Assembly polls.

The former Lagos State governor, who gave the charge in a statement he personally signed on Friday, also urged INEC to ensure that the supplementary polls were conducted in a free atmosphere devoid of tension, acrimony and violence.

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