Tuesday, April 5, 2011

INEC to shift polls in Lagos and eight other states

INEC Latest News - The Independent National Electoral Commission might for the third time, postpone the National Assembly elections in some senatorial districts and constituencies in nine states.

A very reliable source in INEC made this known just as LATEST AFRICA NEWS learnt that a fresh set of election materials, including ballot papers, arrived the cargo terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on Sunday night from China.

The source in INEC headquarters, a senior official who asked not to be named, explained that the planned shift was due to the fact that voting had taken place in some districts and constituencies before the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, announced that the April 2 poll had been halted nationwide.

Investigations by one of our correspondents on Monday revealed that apart from Lagos, the other states likely to be affected are Rivers, Ogun, Katsina, Ondo, Jigawa, Anambra, Gombe and Imo.

It was learnt that the other reasons that might be given for the third rescheduling of polls in the affected areas included the ommission of parties logos on ballot paper and shortages of other materials.

Also, it was learnt that the elections might be postponed where serious cases of omission of names in the voter register had occurred.

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, confirmed the imminent postponement of the National Assembly polls in some places he described as “isolated areas.”

INEC had last Saturday cancelled the National Assembly elections due to a lack of sufficient election materials. Its Chairman, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, blamed the development on contractors and the crises in Libya and China.

He had announced that the poll would hold on Monday (yesterday) but on Sunday, which was changed after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, security agencies and the leaders of the 63 registered political parties in Nigeria for a free and fair election.

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