With Mumini Abdulkareem
The Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission has said it has not decided on the conduct of bye- election for the recently conducted local government election in the state.
In a telephone chat with National Pilot last week, Chairman of the commission, Dr Uthman AbdurRahman Ajidagba said KWSIEC is yet to decide on the issue, adding that the commission will make such arrangement public by the time it was ready.
““We have not decided on the conduct of the bye-election for the last local government election in the state. When we are ready, we will let you know,” Ajidagba added.
But a source at the commission informed this medium that KWSIEC will meet with relevant stakeholders among the political parties to intimate them on plans for the exercise.
He added that KWSIEC cannot take unilateral decision on the issue without involving the state government.
“How can we fix the date for the bye-election without the consent of the government that will provide the necessary funding and logistics to conduct the exercise in the first place?
“So there is no iota of truth in the false alarm being raised by the opposition party regarding the issue. We must carry everybody along”, the source added.
Some polling units in Adewole, Ilorin West Local Government and some wards in Kwara North among others are among areas where elections were declared inconclusive.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate in the poll for Ilorin West, Comrade Musbaudeen Esinrogunjo had complained against the issuance of certificate of return to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Hajia Aminat Omodara since KWSIEC was still planning bye-election in some of the affected polling units.
Omodara has since been issued Certificate of Return and has been subsequently sworn-in by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
In a letter to the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Lawan Ado, Esinrogunjo noted that “the electoral umpire deliberately refused to conduct election in all the 17 Polling Units in Adewole Ward”, adding that “KWSIEC is planning to re-conduct election in only three (3) selected units out of 17”.
He had appealed to the CP to in the spirit of “fairness, equity and social justice, to as a matter of urgency stop the purported election.
He called for the exercise to be held in all the 17 polling units where election didn’t hold so as not to “deliberately disenfranchise our people from exercising their franchise in line with international best practices”.