INEC cancels rerun in Cross River, Akwa Ibom

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the cancellation of some polling units in the rerun conducted in Cross River and Akwa Ibom states over what it described as electoral infractions.

The commission, in a statement by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, said: “INEC met on Monday and reviewed the conduct of January 25, 2020 court ordered rerun in 28 constituencies in 11 states of the federation.

“It noted a marked improvement in compliance with its processes and procedures during the elections. The commission commends the voters, security agents, the media and election staff for their praiseworthy conduct.

“Regrettably, deviant behaviour by a few persons determined to subvert the people’s will was noticed in a few areas in the course of the elections. These isolated incidents minimally affected the peaceful and orderly exercise in only four of the 28 constituencies where elections were conducted.

“However, consistent with the commission’s resolve to sanction electoral bad behaviour, the commission took the following steps to protect the process:

“In Akwa Ibom State, where the officials of the commission were abducted and diverted to an undesignated location and forced to compromise the elections in Essien Udim Local Government Area, all the polling units involved were identified and their results discountenanced.

“In Abi State Constituency of Cross River State, officials of the commission were abducted and thus prevented from deploying in eight polling units. All officials of the commission that were abducted have been rescued and accounted for.

“In furtherance of its resolve not to accept results from areas where the processes were disrupted and its officials attacked, the commission took a firm action by not accepting results from such areas as it could not vouch for their integrity.

“But the commission notes that in most cases, these incidents were not widespread and did not significantly affect the overall results. As such, declarations and returns were made,” INEC said in the statement.

Meanwhile, a House of Representatives member, Nsikak Ekong, has thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for not interfering in the rerun in Akwa Ibom State.

Ekong, who was the People’s Democratic Party candidate in the election, commended the president for keeping to his words of not influencing or interfering in the rerun in the state.

“I thank you our dear president for proving that you are indeed a democrat.” Ekong said.

(The Sun)