Ahead of the governorship supplementary elections scheduled for March 23, INEC has assured critical stakeholders in Plateau that it would conduct a free, fair and credible election in the affected areas.
Mallam Halilu Pai, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in the state, gave the assurance at a meeting with leaders of various political parties and other stakeholders on Saturday in Jos.
The March 9 governorship election in the state was declared inconclusive because the margin in the votes polled by the two leading candidates was less than the votes cancelled in some polling units.
A total of 48,828 votes were cancelled across 40 polling units in 19 wards of nine local government areas.
According to Pai, the commission has put all modalities on ground to ensure that a successful and peaceful supplementary election is conducted in the affected areas.
“As we all know, exactly one week from today, we shall be conducting a supplementary poll for the governorship seat in 40 polling units in 19 Registration Areas spread across nine local governments.
“So, we have called for this meeting to enable us brief all critical stakeholders of our level of preparedness for the forthcoming supplementary elections
“As a commission, we want to assure you that we will conduct a free, fair and credible election. We shall be neutral and ensure that the process is transparent,” he said.
Pai also commended the political gladiators and residents of the state for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner before, during and after the presidential and governorship elections, and called on them to do better during the forthcoming supplementary polls.
“It is on record that Plateau is one of the states that elections were conducted in a peaceful manner and this is largely because of the support and cooperation of the critical stakeholders and citizens of the state.
“So, it will be good that we maintain that status quo and ensure that next Saturday’s supplementary polls is also conducted in a peaceful manner,” he urged
The supplementary elections will be conducted in Shendam, Kanam, Bokkos, Mangu and Bassa local governments.
Others include Langtang South, Pankshin, Barkin Ladi and Jos North local governments