National Politics

INEC orders evacuation of used ballot materials nationwide

…Says commission ready for Nasarawa state central bye elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that all is now set for the Nasarawa central state constituency bye-election, in Nasarawa state.

Chairman of the commission Professor Mamud Yakubu who stated this on Wednesday during an on the spot assessment of state of preparedness for the August 8 state bye-election, also ordered “the immediate evacuation of used materials for the last general elections from INEC offices nationwide.”

According to the INEC chairman, the election is historic and unique one because “it would be a test run for subsequent elections in the context of the protocols of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He stated that that this became necessary since the commission is no longer faced with more litigations.

On the bye election, he noted that INEC as an umpire is not interested in any party of candidate but would be fair to all, however, saying that offenders of the law would be held culpable.

Professor Mahmud Yakubu said he was in Nasarawa for three reasons  – to inspect the readiness of the office in Nasarawa, to meet with traditional rulers who are custodians of the people and also to meet and interact with the stakeholders including the candidates for the Saturday eight election.

The Electoral Officer Ibrahim Tenlong who conducted the visiting INEC officials to the stores of the state office explained that both sensitive and non sensitive materials were ready for the elections.

At the INEC store in the local government, there were materials like hand sanitizers, metilated spirit, power generating equipment amongst others to be used for Saturday’s election. 

The nation’s chief electoral officer was also at the emir’s palace to seek for royal blessing towards the conduct of the  forthcoming Nasarawa state central constituency bye-election and assured the royal father that, the independent Electoral commission remains apolitical and will continue to abide by the wish of the people through the ballot box.

On his part,the emir of Nasarawa Ibrahim Usman Jubril said the traditional Council is in support of INEC’s effort at building strong and virile democracy, acknowging the fact that elections are never easy.

The royal father claimed Nasarawa local government area with over five thousand seven hundred square kilometres is bigger in size than some states in the country and has two state constituencies.

The INEC chairman also met with the stakeholders where he assured everyone of INEC’s commitment towards a free and fair conduct of election anyday, anytime.

There were contributions and suggestions from the stakeholders towards the peaceful conduct of Saturday’s Nasarawa central state constituency bye-election.

One of the traditional rulers and current Board of Trustees Chairman of PDP, Senator Walid Jubril assured the INEC chairman that all the stakeholders and political parties were living together devoid of bitterness or rancour.

He stated that he would host a pre-election party in his palace for all stakeholders to further an atmosphere of peace in the council.

Another contributor, the member representing Nasarawa/Toto federal constituency in the House of Reps and an APC stalwart Hon Abdulmumini Ari also assured that the constituents would maintain law and order during the elections. 

A PDP stalwart and lecturer at the Nasarawa State University Keffi, Mr Danjuma Abudulahi Zubeiru decried the disruption of previous elections by soldiers .

He said that his party did not participate in a previous election due to disruptions by soldiers, calling on the commission to ensure that soldiers do not rig in favour of any party or candidate.

Nasarawa local government is made up two state constituencies but the bye election into Nasarawa central state constituency is to replace late Suleiman Adamu.

The state constituency is made up of seven wards and 44 polling units.