By Aluta News
Aug 4, 2023
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will conduct four bye-elections into National Assembly seats recently declared vacant by lawmakers nominated for ministers by President Bola Tinubu.
The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made this disclosure at the 2023 Post Election Review meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Lagos on Friday.
Yakubu explained that the four bye-elections would be conducted to fill the vacant seats by two Senators and two members of the House of Representatives, nominated for ministerial posts from their states.
He said in all, INEC now have eight bye-elections, adding that the elections would also provide it the opportunity to keep testrunning some of the suggestions and recommendations made at the post-election meeting with stakeholders.
“This is also another opportunity for us to conduct credible elections because so far, we have four vacancies declared in the forthcoming bye-elections at state levels.
“These are Surulere I Constituency in Lagos State, Jalingo Yaransi Constituency in Taraba , Chibok State Constituency in Borno and Chifun State Constituency in Kaduna State.
“Also, there are four national assembly seats recently declared vacant arising from the screening of the ministerial nominees that is ongoing at the national assembly.
“This is due to the two senators and two members of the house of representatives who have been nominated as ministers by the president.
Yakubu explained that the commission would implement the recommendations and suggestions made at the meeting with stakeholders to plan better for the Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi elections, billed for Nov. 11.
The chairman said INEC had earlier promised Nigerians that the commission would embark on review of the election within a month, which started on July 1 with the meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners.
According to him, the commission started at the state level consultation meeting with the RECs and we have engagement with the transport unions and electoral officials in Abuja.
Yakubu said the commission also had engagement with political parties, civil society organisations, media as well as security agencies.
He recalled that on Monday, it had meeting with media executives in Lagos and on Tuesday, it had a meeting with administrative secretaries and today it was rounding up with a meeting with the RECs.
The chairman said overall, he was encouraged not only by the response from stakeholders but also the quality of the contributions they had made.
Yakubu noted that it would use the issues and challenges raised by stakeholders to reduce the obstacle in the gubernatorial elections and bye-elections coming up later in the year.
“There are quite a number of issues which are technology, voters accreditation and reserved management, electoral logistics, so that we open the polling units promptly across the country in all the elections.
“These have been identified as issues we need to address. Also these stakeholders informed us to improve on the production and collection of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
“These are the issues we need to go back to the drawing board. So we are addressing all the issues based on the recommendations from stakeholders.
“Those issues that require administrative actions by the commission, we will deal with them.,” he assured.
Yakubu said those that required amendment of the existing laws, whether it was the Electoral Act 2022 or the Constitution, INEC would harvest them and approach the national assembly for consideration.
He recalled that at the end of the 2019 general elections, INEC had a similar engagement with over 170 recommendations and some of those seen in the subsequent elections were actually arising from this type of engagement.
He said it was an opportunity for INEC to implement those recommendations that required administrative actions in the three gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi governorship elections.
The chairman added that the national assembly would have to work on the issues that required legislation.