Wednesday 2 December 2015

INEC explains why Kogi election was declared inconclusive

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
In renewed defence of its position, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday explained that the Kogi election was declared inconclusive on account of violence in some parts of the state.

This is as Federal High Court, Abuja Division yesterday fixed Friday, December 4 to determine whether or not to stop the INEC from proceeding with the planned supplementary governorship election in Kogi State.

After taking arguments in four separate suits challenging the legality of the scheduled run-off poll, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that it was incumbent on the court to take a position on the matter “ to enable INEC to conduct the election without a grave shadow of doubt as to the legal or constitutional validity of the said exercise.”

Explaining the basis for INEC’s decision, the Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner Mallam Hussaini Halilu Pai, told a stakeholders meeting that the commission was working within the confines of the law in arriving at the decision because the number of registered voters in the cancelled polling units that election did not hold was more than the margin of win between the leading candidate and the runner-up.

He explained further that 91 polling units across 18 local governments were affected in all, adding that Ogorimagongo, Yagba East and Mopa Moro local government areas were not affected. The REC admonished stakeholders to do everything possible to ensure peaceful conduct during the supplementary polls.
According to him, “It is important to stress here that peaceful elections are necessary to consolidate and deepen the country’s democracy, also it is important to note that free, fair and credible elections do not begin and end with only the procedures of INEC put in place but all stakeholders must be involved.”
He said that a conflict-ridden and violent election would be counter- productive to deepening and consolidating democracy as it would undermine the credibility of the process.

He said the commission needed the collaboration of all stakeholders to ensure that peace reigns before, during and after the process.
“We have to influence those around us towards conducting themselves with civility and decorum which are necessary to ensuring a peaceful and successful conduct of the election. We also wish to partner you in finding solutions to recurring electoral violence.”
He said in preparation for the supplementary election, the commission has participated and organised a series of television and radio programmes to sensitive and mobilise the electorate. Pai indicated that the voters registers to be used in the 91 polling units had been printed, adding that smart card readers would be used for the exercise.

Credit: Nigerian Guardian

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