Much-awaited bye-elections in four states of the county have commenced in earnest as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff said accreditation of voters is well underway across the six federal and state constituencies.
INEC had in January, scheduled bye-elections for some federal and state constituencies across four states of the federation, this Saturday, February 26.
National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, at INEC, Barr. Festus Okoye, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, last month, said the exercise will hold in four states of Ondo, Plateau, Cross River and Imo to fill vacancies declared at federal constituencies in the House of Representatives, as well as, those in the state Assembly.
“Following the declaration of vacancies by the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Honourable Speakers of some State Houses of Assembly, the Commission has scheduled bye-elections for six constituencies in 4 States as follows:
“Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency, Ondo State; Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, Plateau State; Pankshin South State Constituency, Plateau State; Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, Cross River State; Akpabuyo State Constituency, Cross River State; Ngor-Okpala State Constituency, Imo State.
“The elections will hold on Saturday, February 26 2022, immediately after the FCT Area Council elections. It will enable the Commission to clear most of the bye-elections, focus on the Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections and ongoing preparations for the 2023 General Election.”
According to the statement, some of the vacancies arose due to the death of the previous occupants, substantial disruption of the electoral process and fulfilment of constitutional and legal requirements in the electoral process.
“The Commission considered the issues leading to the vacancies, rescheduling of some elections, and the security situation in some states. The Commission decided to combine the Ekiti East 1 State Constituency election with the Governorship election in Ekiti, to hold June 18, 2022.
“The Commission is consulting with security agencies and the critical stakeholders relating to the vacancy in Shinkafi State Constituency of Zamfara State while the Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly has not declared a vacancy concerning Giwa State Constituency of Kaduna State,” he added.
Meanwhile, INEC update report by Saturday morning indicates that ‘Accreditation and voting ongoing at PU 06, Ward 08 Moferere Akure North. The election is peaceful and about 35 voters have cast their ballots.’
Also, in Cross river State, INEC said; ‘Saint Benedict Demonstration Primary school Igoli-Ogoja, Pulling Unit 005. Accreditation and Voting going on. INEC National Commissioner was on ground.’