AS Nigerians go to the polls on Saturday to elect governors in 29 states and lawmakers in 36 States of the federation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the exercise will hold simultaneously with supplementary election in 14 States, 7 Senatorial Districts and 24 Federal Constituencies.
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure on Thursday while addressing members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Security (ICCES).
Professor Yakubu said the supplementary election became necessary because the February 23 exercise was disrupted by violence in the affected states.
The INEC chairman further disclosed that the number of registered voters in the polling units involved in each constituency was more than the votes received by the candidate with the highest number of votes.
He said: “Supplementary elections must, therefore, be conducted to determine the winners. Consequently, the Commission decided to conduct the supplementary National Assembly polls on Saturday alongside the Governorship and State Assembly elections. Full details of the constituencies involved have been communicated to stakeholders in the affected States and will also be available on our website for public information later today.”
On preparations for governorship and state assembly election, Professor Yakubu said his Commission was putting necessary logistics in place to make the poll a success.
“Learning from the experience of the Presidential and National Assembly elections held two weeks ago, the Commission has effectively tackled the challenge of logistics. Materials for the election have been delivered to all States and the FCT. Movement to the Local Government Areas will be completed today. By tomorrow, all materials and relevant personnel will arrive at the Registration Area Centres (RACs). With this arrangement, we are confident that all polling units will open at 8.00 am nationwide.”
The INEC chairman equally restated his stance that the use of Smart Card Reader was mandatory for identification of eligible voters and cautioned that votes in areas where it was discountenanced would be cancelled.
“We have once again reconfigured the Smart Card Readers for the elections on Saturday. The use of the card readers is mandatory and there will be no exemption to their deployment for accreditation of voters. Under our Regulations and Guidelines, there are clear penalties for the deliberate failure to deploy them on the part of our staff. Where such happens with the connivance of communities, the result of the election in the polling unit(s) will be cancelled and zero vote recorded.