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4.6m Voters Go To Polls As INEC Holds Bye-Elections, Rerun In 26 States

The IGP said the restriction would take effect from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day in all states where election would be conducted.


Voters are seen on February 3, 2024 at Yabo B polling unit for the House of Representatives rerun election in the Yabo/Shagari federal constituency of Sokoto State.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is conducting bye and re-run elections in 80 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across 26 states of the federation.

Already, the commission said a total of 4,613,291 Nigerians who have collected their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) are expected to participate in the exercise.

The elections are conducted to replace members who died or resigned their memberships of the national and state assemblies, as well as rerun elections at designated constituencies or polling units (PUs) as ordered by the election appeal tribunals.

According to INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, the elections would fill vacancies in not less than three senatorial districts, 17 federal and 28 state constituencies spread across 80 local government areas, 575 registration areas/wards and 8,934 polling units involving 4,904,627 registered voters, out of which 4,613,291 PVCs have been collected.

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States where the elections will hold include: Ebonyi, Yobe, Kebbi, Lagos, Ondo, Taraba, Benue, Borno, Kaduna, Plateau, Akwa Ibom, and Anambra.

A file photo of electoral materials.

 

Others are Cross River, Delta, Enugu, Jigawa, Katsina, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Kano, Nasarawa, Niger, Oyo, Sokoto and Zamfara.

Distribution Of Sensitive Materials

To ensure a hitch-free exercise, the commission collaborated with the Nigerian Air Force to airlift sensitive and electoral materials across to the designated areas.

On Tuesday, Yakubu said the electoral body had commenced the distribution of sensitive materials to some of the 26 states where rerun and by-elections will be held on Saturday.

The INEC boss who visited the Chief of Air Staff (CAS)  Hassan Abubakar in Abuja said because of peculiar challenges, the commission would need the help of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to deliver similar materials to states in the Northeast, Southeast and Southwest where the elections would also be held.

“The elections are holding this weekend. Working with the Central Bank of Nigeria, materials are being delivered to many locations.

“However, given the size and distance of some constituencies, we seek the support of NAF to expeditiously deliver materials to three locations in the Northeast, Southeast and Southwest geo-political zones of the country.”

‘Restriction’

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, on Friday announced the restriction of vehicular and human movements within the affected areas for the ease conduct of the poll.

The IGP said the restriction would take effect from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day in all states where election would be conducted.

He said that those on essential services, INEC officials, electoral observers, accredited media and observers, both foreign and domestic, ambulances responding to medical emergencies and firefighters would be exempted from the restriction.

Egbetokun also ordered a ban on all security aides to VIPs and escorts from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election.

“State-established and owned security outfits and organisations, quasi-security units and privately owned guard and security outfits are also barred from participating in election.

“The movement restrictions, including the ban on VIP aides, escorts, and state security outfits, are crucial measures aimed at preventing any undue interference or intimidation during the election,” he said.