By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
Arrangements have been perfected by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Lagos State ahead of both the governorship and State House of Assembly come Saturday, March, 9th, 2019.
Disclosing this to journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam Olumekun, who had earlier appreciated the good conduct of Lagosians during the just concluded Presidential/National Assembly election held on 23rd February, 2019 said preparations have been concluded for a hitch free exercise.
‘Though, there were pockets of violence and disturbances in some parts of the state during the election I commend the perseverance and resilience of Lagosians through out the period of election having waited patiently for the arrival of the election officials of which some arrived late to commence polls.
“‘This was not deliberate, but as a result of unforeseen circumstances that delayed their movement to the polling units from the registration areas. So bear with us, as it would never repeat itself again”. Olumekun assured.
He further explained that after a careful and painstaking review of the presidential /National Assembly election in the state, the commission has observed that Six(6)Federal constituency elections were inconclusive due to some political thuggery, violence, snatching and disruption of ballot papers and boxes, manual voting and over voting in some units.
‘For this purpose, we have decided to operate under the rule of law. Section 33(e),of the regulation/Guidelines for the conduct of 2019 General elections, stipulating that “where the margin of lead between the two leading candidates in election is not in excess of the total number of voters registered in polling units were elections are not held or voided in line with sections 26 and 53 of the electoral act, the returning officer shall decline to make a rerun until polls have taken place in any of the affected polling units as results collated into the relevant forms of declaration and return.
‘In conformity with the above stated rule, our commission will not hesitate but to stage a supplementary elections in those affected Federal constituencies”. And that such elections shall be held alongside the Governorship/State House of Assembly elections simultaneously.
“For the avoidance of doubt, ballot papers for the Federal Constituency elections will be made available for voters in the affected polling units voting. That is, each accredited voter in such areas/Units is to collect three (3),different ballot papers and after casting votes, such a person is to drop his/her ballot paper in respective ballot boxes designated for elections”. He reiterated.
According to him, the red ballot box is for governorship, black for the state House of Assembly elections and the green for the Federal Constituency elections.
“This shall be for the affected six (6) Federal Constituencies in five (5), local Government Areas. ‘As two (2) ballot boxes will be provided in other polling units where only Governorship /State House of Assembly elections are to hold. Red for Governorship and black for State House of Assembly”. Concluded Olumekun.
It would be recalled that the affected Federal constituencies are, Oshodi/Isolo Federal constituency 1, Oshodi=Isolo Constituency 11, OjoFederal, Eti-Osa Federal Constituency, Somolu and Ajeromi/Ifelodun Federal Constituency.