INEC: Supplementary Polls Hold in Ibarapa Constituency Saturday

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will on Saturday conduct supplementary election in Ibarapa Central/North Federal Constituency, alongside the governorship and state Assembly elections.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, Mr. Mutiu Agboke, made this known on Monday during a stakeholders’ meeting in Idere, near Igboora in Ibarapa Central Local Government Area of the state.

According to Agboke, the inconclusiveness occasioned by non-compliance with the commission’s guidelines during the February 23 poll warranted the conduct of the supplementary election.

He said that six polling units with a total of 2,449 registered voters were affected.

According to him, the officials in the affected polling units abandoned the use of Smart Card Readers (SCR) for accreditation midway into the election, due to malfunctioning of the card readers.

“This scenario made the number of accredited voters lower than the votes cast, which simply means over-voting and consequently, cancellation of elections in those polling units.

“The margin of lead between the two leading candidates (PDP and APC) stood at 452 votes, while the total number of registered voters in the affected six polling units was 2,449,’’ the REC said.

He said this was a condition for inconclusive election, adding that the commission would conduct free and fair poll which votes would be added to the existing votes from the earlier election.

Agboke told the stakeholders that each voter in the affected polling units would be issued with three ballot papers – governorship, state Assembly and House of Representatives.

He appealed to the stakeholders, especially the youth, to shun thuggery and electoral violence in whatever form or design.

In his remark, Oba Kingsley Onitola, the Onidere of Idere, who spoke on behalf of the traditional rulers, assured INEC and all the electorate that the Saturday elections would be peaceful.

Onitola warned troublemakers to stay away from the constituency during and after the Saturday elections.

He said that all the candidates contesting for the federal constituency seat had signed peace accord and promised that all the candidates would be invited again for peace meeting before the Election Day.

The affected polling units (PUs) are in Ibarapa Central, Wards 03, PU 001 with 489 registered voters and PU 006 with 467 registered voters; and PU 008 with 359 registered voters in Ward 05.

In Ibarapa North, the affected polling units are PU 008 with 307 registered voters, PU 013 with 264 registered voters in Ward 07 and PU 011 with 563 registered voters in Ward 08.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Demola Ojo, and other contestants from Social Democratic Party (SDP), Action Democratic Congress (ADC) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) attended the meeting.

Mr Ajibola Muraina, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the election was, however, absent at the meeting.

Also, community heads, religious leaders, leaders of political parties in Ibarapa Central/North Federal Constituency and representatives of the police, Immigration, Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) attended the meeting. (NAN)