The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has announced the rescheduling of elections in 18 polling units across Jos North and Bassa. Elections were held today to fill the vacant seat of the Federal Constituency as well as the Senatorial seat as declared by the Court of Appeal which sacked PDP’s Musa Agah and Simon Mwadkon respectively
Speaking to journalists today in Jos, the State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Oliver Agundu, announced that fresh elections in the 18 polling units have become very necessary following complaints of ballot paper shortages deployed to some polling units during the re-run.
Dr Agundu also revealed that an investigation had been launched by the commission to unveil the cause of the ballot papers shortage in the affected polling units. He said, “In respect of the reports that were coming in from some poling units that there were shortages of ballot papers in respect of the Federal House of Representatives seat, we did a holistic appraisal of the situation and we have received a comprehensive report on all the poling units and they summed up to 18 of them in total”
He gave the details that “15 are in Tudun-Wada/Kabong Ward, and 3 are in Naraguta B ward all in Jos North LGA. So, we have decided that we cannot even take it for granted that this is a negligible number compared to over 900 polling units where the elections took place.”
In a responsible and peaceful that was employed to resolve the challenge, INEC had earlier called a meeting of party stakeholders at the INEC headquarters along Maingo road and briefed them on the situation.
The meeting which www.pointblank.com.ng gathered started today at 8pm had party leaders, security agencies and the media. Dr Agundu stressed that election is an important process of recruiting leaders hence the need to take it seriously especially when a significant number of voters are involved. He maintained the commission’s neutrality and determination to make every single vote counts. .
He concluded that “we will see the possibility of also giving them the opportunity to also cast their votes tomorrow (Sunday), but we will make a final position on that during the meeting”. He said the commission deemed it necessary to inform the public to know that we take their concerns seriously. We are also doing a very thorough investigation on what has happened on these polling units”.
In most of the poling units that experienced shortage of ballot papers, some INEC officials were held hostage by angry voters who despite the restriction on vehicular movements trekked long distances to come and cast their votes.
While Kabong is a strong hold of the LP candidate, Naraguta B is that of the PRP candidate. These polling units will definitely be the determinant of the election