The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the Bauchi South senatorial election will hold on August 11, 2018.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Bauchi State, Ibrahim Abdullahi, who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the INEC headquarters, Thursday explained that the commission had on July 13, 2018 received a letter from the Senate declaring the Bauchi South Senatorial seat vacant.
The stakeholders included various political parties under the aegis of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, security agencies and the media.
The Bauchi South Senatorial seat became vacant when the then Senator Ali Wakili reportedly slumped and was rushed to the National Hospital, Abuja but was declared dead on Saturday, March 17, 2018.
He further explained that based on the Senate’s action and in line with Section 76 (2) and 25 (2) of the electoral act, INEC is mandated to conduct a by-election to fill the vacuum within 30 days.
According to him, elections will be held in 445 voting points and 1,499 polling units in 75 wards of the seven local government areas of Bauchi, Toro, Dass, Tafawa Balewa, Bogoro, Alkaleri and Kirfi, that make up the senatorial district.
Abdullahi, who said that about 70,000 permanent voter cards (PVCs) are still with the commission, which are yet to be collected by their owners, appealed to politicians that “that magic you use in mobilising people to come out during elections to vote for you, please use that same strategy to make people come out and claim the over 70,000 PVCs yet to be collected across the local government areas of the state”.
While urging politicians and political parties not to be deceived by the crowd that openly show them support, he advised them that “some of them do not even have PVCs while some will forget to pick theirs during the election”.
According to him, “So I appeal to you all to encourage all your supporters to come and collect their cards so they can use them to vote for you and your party.”
The INEC boss said only those who voted in the 2015 general election and those who have collected their PVCs as at December 2017 are the eligible voters in the by-election on August 11, 2018.
He said that the commission had improved the system of voting, adding that there will be continuous accreditation and voting during the election whereby voters will be accredited and allowed to cast their votes immediately.
The REC appealed to political parties to join hands with the commission to ensure a hitch-free by-election, promising that “INEC will be fair to all and create a free leveled playing field for all”.
He promised that vote buying, which he said was an “inducement” of the electoral process as witnessed in the last elections in Ekiti State, will not be condoned, as culprits with be punished.
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