Supplementary Elections: Voting begins in Kebbi, Rivers, others

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Voting has commenced in Kebbi, Adamawa and 22 other states where supplementary elections were scheduled to hold today. According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), supplementary elections hold today in 2,660 polling units in 185 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across 24 states of the Federation. It was observed that voting has commenced at Karyo/ Umijin Nana/Baban Dutsi polling unit of Maurida ward in the Birnin-Kebbi Local Government Area of Kebbi State. The Baban Dutsi model primary school host three polling units of Karyo/ Umijin Nana/Baban Dutsi. Over voting was the reason for cancellation of votes in this polling unit.

An observer lamented huge presence of party agents at the polling units. Also, supplementary elections have commenced in Rivers State in Port Harcourt Federal Constituency Two and Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency. In Port Harcourt Federal Constituency Two, elections hold in Ward 5, and Wards 10 to 18 in a total of 377 polling units. In Khana/Gokana, elections hold in Wards 4 and 7 of Khana Local Government Area. The number of polling units affected in Khana is 42. INEC had during the February 25 and March 18 elections declared some governorship, National Assembly and state assemblies’ polls inconclusive and directed a rerun.

Widespread violence and voter suppression had marred the February 25 and March 18 polls, especially in states like Lagos, Rivers, amongst others as thugs unleashed terror on voters at polling units, fuelling voters’ apathy. In the Adamawa governorship poll, the incumbent Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 421,524, while the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Aishatu Dahiru, scored 390,275. However, INEC state collation officer, Prof Muhammadu Mele of the University of Maiduguri, declared the election inconclusive due to the margin of votes.

Similarly, in Kebbi, the APC polled 388,258 votes as against the PDP’s 342,980, leading the INEC Returning Officer in the governorship election, Professor Yusuf Sa’idu, to declare the election inconclusive. He said violence, destruction of election materials, disruption of electoral proceedings, and over-voting played a role in the decision. With both governorship elections having been declared inconclusive, all eyes will be on the two states, each of which has 20 local government areas (LGAs) participating in the second round of polling.

For Adamawa, voting is expected to hold in 69 polling units (PUs) comprising 37,706 eligible voters, while in Kebbi, 142 affected PUs with 94,209 voters will participate. Conversely, there are supplementary elections for five senatorial seats: Kebbi North, Sokoto East, Sokoto North, Sokoto South, and Zamfara Central. In Kebbi North, a total of 13,243 voters in 23 PUs are eligible to participate in the exercise. In Sokoto East, there are 87,138 eligible voters in 169 PUs. Sokoto North has 115,266 eligible voters in 185 PUs, and Sokoto South has 85,022 collected PVCs across 156 PUs. In Zamfara Central, there are 83 PUs affected, comprising eligible 47,227 voters.

Likewise, House of Representatives polls hold in a total of 31 constituencies across 15 states, namely Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara. As for the state House of Assembly elections, a total of 59 constituencies in 17 states are involved. They are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Ogun, Taraba, and Yobe.

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