With Mumini Abdulkareem
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced March 14 as the date for the by-election into the House of Assembly seat in Patigi Constituency of Kwara State.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in Kwara, Garba Attahiru-Madami, disclosed this on Tuesday when he received executives of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), led by its Chairman, Adebayo Akadi, in his office.
He told the IPAC officials that the commission was waiting for the timetable for the by-election from the national headquarters of INEC to enable the state office to commence preparation for the by-election.
The member representing Patigi Constituency in the House, Ahmed Rufai, died on December 3, 2019.
The Clerk of Kwara House of Assembly notified INEC about the death of the member via a letter on Jan. 27, 2020 in line with section 116 (2) of the 1999 Constitution.
Mr Attahiru-Madami told the IPAC officials that the visit was timely because it came at a time INEC was preparing for a by-election to fill the vacant seat of the member that lost his life last year.
“Officially, we will communicate to you, but you are privileged to know that the by-election will be coming up on Saturday, 14th of March.
“We have written to our headquarters for necessary logistics so that they will send us a timetable and after which you are going to be informed officially.
“I want to also thank you because last year’s performance of INEC could not have been possible without the commitment, sacrifice and the cooperation of members of IPAC,” he added.
The REC expressed the Commission’s gratitude to all the political parties in Kwara for the success recorded in 2019 general elections in the state.
“As you all know, INEC doesn’t have thugs, police don’t have thugs, it is the political parties that hire thugs; so if you decide that you are not going to use thugs the election will be peaceful and you will take the credit.’’
He said the outcome of the 2019 general elections in the state had built confidence in the people especially the youth who had been coming to say they wanted to register as voters after attaining the age of 18.
“As usual, I am going to give all the parties level playing ground to contest for the Patigi Constituency during the by-election.
“I am asking for your cooperation during the coming by-election to achieve an even better result than that of 2019.
Mr Attahiru-Madami appealed to IPAC members to put the issue of their election behind, resolve their differences and move the council forward.
Earlier, Mr Akadi told the REC that the meeting was to familiarise IPAC executive members with the Commission.
He commended the REC for his roles in ensuring that the 2019 general elections in Kwara was not only peaceful, free, fair, but also adjudged the best in the country.
Mr Akadi promised the REC of IPAC’s unflinching support to make his assignment in Kwara a huge success.