- Women, youths protest at INEC office in Sokoto, demand reversal of inconclusive decision
- Why polls in the six states are inconclusive – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed March 23rd for supplementary governorship elections in states where they were declared inconclusive.
According to Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Eductaion Committee, the commission took the decision on Tuesday after a meeting to review the 29 governorship and 991 state constituency elections of March 9.
The six states where INEC’s returning officers declared the election inconclusive are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto.
“Consequently, the Commission will conduct supplementary elections on Saturday, 23rd March, 2019 to conclude the process,” Okoye said.
“Supplementary elections will also hold in polling units in all states where State Assembly elections were declared inconclusive and winners could not be declared. Details of the constituencies including number of polling units and registered voters will be published on our website tomorrow, Wednesday, 13th March, 2019,” he added.
Meanwhile, protesting against the declaration of Saturday’s governorship poll as inconclusive a coalition of People Democratic Party (PDP) women and youth on Tuesday demanded the declaration of the reelection of Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal.
Thousands of them staged a demonstration against the development at the commission’s headquarters in Sokoto.
They marched from the Ali Akilu roundabout to the state INEC headquarters on Tangaza road where stern- looking security agents tear gassed them.
The protest was led by Hajiya Kulu Abeullahi Sifawa, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Director General, Women Campaign committee for PDP governorship candidate.
She said the action was to demand justice and immediate declaration of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as winner of the just concluded governorship elections in the state.
Sifawa, who vowed they would not vacate the surroundings of the commission unless the PDP candidate was declared winner, also alleged that over 10 of their members were tear gassed by the Police deployed to the INEC office.
Commissioner for Science and Technical Education, Dr Kulu Haruna Abubakar, said the world knew Tambuwal whom she described as a man of honour, integrity and respect had successfully won the polls against his opponent.
“We demand INEC’s reversal of its decision by giving Tambuwal the win,” She maintained.
Also, PDP women leader in the state, Hajiya Rabi Giyawa and Professor Aisha Madawaki Isah, Commissioner for Basic Education said they overwhelmingly voted Tambuwal, hence should be declared winner by INEC without further delay.
“We notice that states declared inconclusive at the just conducted polls were those APC was losing. Sokoto is for PDP and must be declared,” they added.
However, efforts to get comments from the agency proved abortive as the protesters stayed put.
However, INEC has explained the reasons why the Returning Officers of six states declared the governorship polls as inconclusive.
In a statement that was released at the end of a meeting of the commission on Tuesday, published on its verified Twitter handle, INEC said the elections were declared inconclusive for a number of reasons, one of which include the discontinuation of the use of smart card readers during the elections.
Part of the statement read, “The Commission met today, 12th March 2019 and reviewed the conduct of the 29 Governorship and 991 State constituency elections held on 9th March 2019. In all, the Commission declared winners in the Governorship elections in 22 states.
“However, the Returning Officers in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto declared the governorship elections inconclusive.
“The elections were declared inconclusive for a combination of reasons, mainly the discontinuation of the use of Smart Card Readers midway into the elections or the failure to deploy them, over-voting and widespread disruption in many polling units.”