The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that it will conduct supplementary elections on March 23, 2019 for the six states whose governorship election results were deemed inconclusive.
Backstory: INEC’s National Officer and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, made the announcement following a meeting of INEC’s senior management team.
“The Returning Officers in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto states declared the governorship elections inconclusive. Consequently, the commission will conduct supplementary elections on Saturday, March 23, 2019 to conclude the process,” the statement said.
Other supplementary polls: According to the statement which was released on Tuesday, the governorship elections will not be the only ones having a rerun, as polling units in all states where state House of Assembly polls were declared inconclusive and winners could not be announced, will witness a rerun as well.
A panel will be set up by the commission to address the issues surrounding the disruption of the collation in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi state.
Details of the polling units and constituencies where the polls would take place again will be made available on the Commission’s website.
Rivers State Missing from the List: The most problematic of all the elections in the country was in Rivers state. For now, INEC still has no answers on the way forward since it suspended all electoral processes in the state as a result of the violence and threat to life of its officials. INEC said that it is still in discussion on the “peculiar” case in Rivers state.
What all these mean: With the announcement, it means that the country will spend over one month in election mode – from the cancelled poll on February 14th to the presidential election on February 23rd to last weekend’s guber and state assembly elections, and the supplementary polls in a fortnight. Sounds like a very inefficient system. As the EU Election Observer Mission said yesterday, urgent reforms are needed.