The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will conduct fresh presidential and National Assembly elections on Monday in seven local government areas of Abia State.
INEC Administration Secretary in the state, Mr. Clement Oha, announced this while addressing reporters yesterday in Umuahia, the state capital.
The INEC chief said the elections would be held by 8 a.m at various polling units in Aba North, Aba South, Arochukwu, Obingwa, Osisioma, Ohafia and Umuahia North Local Government Areas. He explained that the fresh polls were necessitated by alleged discrepancies in the election procedures that were violent to some extent.
Oha also said the reported skirmishes in the affected polling units during Saturday’s election necessitated the fresh polls.
“The commission, in its wisdom, felt that the credibility of the election should not be compromised, and that there should be no winner by default.
“So, elections must take place in the affected polling units on Monday,” he said.
Oha said the affected polling units had already been communicated.
Also, INEC has conducted elections in various wards where elections could not hold on Saturday in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), which monitored activities at the INEC office yesterday in Warri South, reports that the movement of voting materials to the respective wards started around 12:10 p.m. and lasted till 3 p.m.
NAN recalls that voting materials started leaving the INEC office on Saturday at 2 pm.
In a statement earlier, the Acting Head of Voter Education and Publicity of INEC in Delta State, Mr. Bukola Ojeme, listed the affected Registration Areas (RA) and units to include:
RA 1, (units 8, 9, 12 and 15); RA 4 (all its 30 units); RA 5 (units 9, 10, 11, 15, 28 and 29); RA 6 (Unit 16); RA 7 (all its 25 units); RA 9 (all its 46 units); RA 11 (units 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 27).
NAN also reports that there were complaints by some ad hoc workers of the commission that some of the result sheets were missing. Based on that, the workers in the affected polling units had refused to go to their units for the fear of being lynched by angry voters.
They were later persuaded by party officials to go to their respective polling units and conduct the elections.
At 4 p.m, the INEC office was still crowded while some of the ad hoc workers looked tired. Crisis almost erupted on the INEC premises but was quickly put under control by the prompt intervention of military personnel.
According to a member of the ad hoc staff, the Supervisory Polling Officers ought to have sorted out the voting materials before dispatching them to the various wards.
When NAN spoke on phone with the INEC Electoral Officer in Warri South, Mr. Kingsley Ogboe, to respond to the series of complaints, the INEC official simply said he was not authorised to address reporters.
“I am not authorised to speak with journalists,” Ogboe said.