The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kogi State on Thursday clarified that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would not field candidates for the senatorial and House of Representatives rerun election to be conducted in the state.
With this clarification, Senators Mohammed Ohiare and Abdulrahman Abubakar (Abu Railway) are out of the rerun race. Also, the former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdullahi Bello has been barred from participating in the House of Representatives rerun election.
Apart from the National Assembly rerun election, the party was also excluded from two of the five State Assembly rerun to be conducted on February 20, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also excluded from two of the stage constituencies election.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Alhaji Halilu Pai, who said this at a stakeholders meeting, added that the elections would be held in 14 out if the 21 local government areas of the state.
He explained that the elections were ordered to be rerun by the Court of Appeal not as a result of violence or lapses from the commission, but because of pre election matters that bordered on conduct of primary elections by political parties.
Pai said being as a law abiding organisation, INEC adhered to the ruling of the appellate court by excluding the parties from the elections.
He listed the areas affected by the rerun election to include Kogi East and Central senatorial districts, Ogorimagongo/Okene federal constituency, Idah state constituency.
Others are Ankpa 1 state constituency, Ofu state constituency, Dekina 1 and 2 state constituencies and Idah state constituency.
Pai also said that that the commission required no fewer than 9806 ad-hoc staff for the conduct of the rerun election including eight returning officers, 14 collation officers.
According to him, at least 1, 037, 695 registered voters are expected to participate in the election to be conducted in 154 wards and 1, 988 polling units.
The state police commissioner, Bensan Gwana, told the gathering that the command was ready to ensure that the election is peaceful.
Represented by the deputy commissioner, Felix Uwanhi, the commissioner said security agencies in the state would soon meet to fine tune their strategies for a hitch free poll.
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