INEC Ready For By-Elections In 11 States

The chairman of Independent National Electoral Commis sion (INEC), Prof. Mahmud Yakubu,  has said the agency was ready for the conduct of by-elections in 28 constituencies across 11 states.
He said the agency will ensure a credible exercise, urging stakeholders to cooperate with its officials on electoral duty.
Yakubu spoke in Abuja during the swearing in of two Resident Electoral Commissioners.
They are Dr Alalibo Sinikiem Johnson from Bayelsa State and Umar Mukhtar Gajiram from Borno State.
Johnson  replaces the former REC of Cross River State while Gajiram replaces the former REC of Taraba State  who died a few months ago.
Johnson holds a BSc. Degree in Political Science and a Master's and Doctorate degrees in Peace and Conflict Studies. Until this appointment, he was a lecturer at the Niger Delta University in Bayelsa State.
Gajiram holds a Bachelor's Degree in English Language and a Master's degree in Public Administration. He served in various capacities in the Borno State civil service until his retirement as  Director.
Yakubu congratulated the new commissioners, urging them to live to expectation.
He said as officers responsible for the implementation of the commission's policies, they will exercise supervisory control over personnel, resources and the legal and administrative processes in their states.
He added: "You will also interact with various categories of stakeholders. In doing so, you must maintain the required openness and consultation.
"At the same time, you must be very firm in the discharge of your responsibilities.
Yakubu said RECs can be deployed to any State as dictated by the exigencies of service, but clarified that they will never be posted to theit states of origin throughout their tenure.
He said their deployment came three days to the conduct of re-run elections by court order.
Yakubu stresed: "On Saturday this week, elections will hold in 28 constituencies spread across 11 States of the federation.
"Six of these elections involve entire constituencies while 22 elections will be held only in some polling units.
"In all the constituencies, the elections will be contested by the same political parties and candidates that participated in the 2019 general election, except where the elections were nullified on grounds of candidate disqualification.
"The two affected constituencies are Gamawa Federal Constituency in Bauchi State and Agwara State Constituency in Niger State where elections will be held without the candidates and parties that were declared winners in the general election.
Yakubu said there will be no substitution of candidates as these are not bye-elections, but court-ordered re-run, adding that the period for nomination of candidates had lapsed since the end of 2018 in preparation for last year's general elections.
He added:I wish to assure Nigerians that the commission is ready for the re-run elections.
"All sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been deployed to the States, stakeholders' meetings have been held, security arrangements are being finalised while training and posting of ad hoc staff as well as the configuration of Smart Card Readers are ongoing.
"Where the elections involve entire constituencies, National as well as some resident electoral commissioners will be deployed.
"The commission will work with the security agencies to ensure adequate protection of election officials, accredited observers, the media and the processes generally against acts inimical to the conduct of peaceful and credible elections.
"We have received assurances from the security agencies of adequate protection of the processes in line with the rules of engagement for election duty.

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