Independent National
Electoral Commission has
declared Rivers State as
a danger zone, warning
it would only conduct
fresh elections or any
future elections under a
guaranteed security.
INEC made the
statement on the heels of
the violence, brigandage
and killing that marred the
March 19 rerun polls.
The electoral body
emphasised that it would
never return for the fresh
polls until there is an
assurance of security and
safety.
INEC made it clear that
it would not endanger
the lives of its personnel,
journalists and observers
and others involved in the
exercise.
“INEC will, at a date to
be decided, conduct fresh
elections starting with
accreditation and voting
in all Local Government
Areas, Constituencies,
Registration Areas and
Polling Units where the
exercise was disrupted
before voting was
concluded on Saturday
19th March, 2016.”
The statement, signed by
INEC’s Director of Voters’
Education and Publicity,
Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said
that the future elections
would be conducted after
due consultation with
parties involved, and
subject to the advice of
the security agencies and
guarantees by the political
parties, candidates and
their supporters.
“While the Commission
is committed to
conducting free, fair and
credible elections, it hereby
reiterates its resolve not
to return to Rivers State
(or anywhere else where
there was a breakdown of
law and order in the cause
of conducting elections)
until there is a conducive
atmosphere for the conduct
of credible elections.
“As a responsible
organisation, it will not
expose its stakeholders
especially voters, its
officials, observers, media
personnel to any danger
and even where dates have
been fixed and published,
it will not hesitate to
again suspend the exercise
where there is a clear
danger or credible threat
of a breakdown of law and
order.”
This was even as INEC
has resolved to uphold
results already declared
in the March 19 election,
saying, “the Commission
restates its earlier decision
to uphold the declarations
and returns made in
the Federal and State
Constituencies where the exercise had been
concluded.
“Similarly, the
Commission will conclude
and make returns in
constituencies where it is
satisfied that voting and
collation were done in
substantial compliance
with the Electoral Act and
our Guidelines.”
INEC had since admitted
that there were some
challenges in its operational
efficiency, especially as it
concerns the production
and customisation of the
result sheets used for the
conduct of the election. It
however, insisted that no
fake result sheet was used,
as alleged by both the PDP
and the APC.
“The Commission wishes
to emphatically state that
there were no fake result
sheets or any fake materials
used in the conduct of the
elections.”


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