Rivers, Imo, Kogi, Kano rerun polls hold July 23, 30
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed July 23 and 30 for rerun elections in Rivers, Imo, Kogi and Kano states.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yaquub announced the dates in Abuja, at the end of an interactive session with national stakeholders forum on the outstanding rerun elections.
Yaquub said the dates were not sacrosanct and noted that they were subject to review.
'The meeting advised the commission to further engage the stakeholders and, where necessary, after due consultations, review the dates with respect to all or any of the states. If the need arises to adjust the dates due to any circumstances, we shall do so. So, nothing is cast in iron,' he said.
The INEC chairman restated his stance that violence was responsible for inconclusive elections in the affected states. He further noted that since the outcome of the electoral process was hinged on human factor, disruptions in one polling unit could change the tide in the entire results, as the Commission would not deliberately cancel the outcome of elections adjudged to be free and fair. He also expressed concern over the violence unleashed on staff of the Commission and materials in the areas where the reruns were earlier suspended.
'In Kogi, it (cancellation) was as a result of large scale disruption and physical assault of staff. In Kano, it was suspended due to violence and intimidation of election staff on duty.
' In Rivers, which account for about 50 percent of the 80 nullified elections, many of our staff were assaulted. One of them, Samuel Okonta, was killed. There was widespread violence.'
The Inspector General of Police who was represented at the forum by a Commissioner of Police, Habila Joshua expressed the readiness of the police to mobilize men for the reruns.