As the re-run elections for Plateau North Senatorial district election and Bassa/Jos North Federal constituency get under way on Saturday, the Independent National Electoral Commission has announced plans to conduct fresh elections in 18 polling units.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Dr Oliver Agundu, disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Jos on Saturday.
He said that the fresh election followed complaints of ballot paper shortages deployed to some polling units during the Saturday re-run.
The REC, who stated that an investigation had been launched by the commission to unravel the cause of the ballot papers shortage in the affected polling units said, “In respect of the reports that were coming in from some poling units that there were shortages of ballot papers in respect of the Federal House of Representatives seat, we did a holistic appraisal of the situation and we have received a comprehensive report on all the poling units and they summed up to 18 of them in total.
“15 are in Tudun-Wada/Kabong Ward, and three are in Naraguta B ward all in Jos North LGA. So, we have decided that we cannot even take it for granted that this is a negligible number compared to over 900 polling units where the elections took place.”
The REC said to resolve the issues amicably, the commission had summoned a meeting of party stakeholders at the INEC headquarters to brief them on the situation.
“We have decided to meet with leaders of politics and the media by 8pm today (Saturday) at the state INEC headquarters in Jos because election is a stake-holding exercise. So, we will brief other stakeholders and then inform them of our next plan of action but we are thinking that we will not take for granted that this is an insignificant number.
“We will see the possibility of also giving them the opportunity to also cast their votes tomorrow (Sunday), but we will make a final position on that when we meet by 8pm. That is the situation and we want the public to know that we take their concerns seriously. We are also doing a very thorough investigation on what has happened on these polling units,” the REC added.
It was reported that the re-run election conducted by INEC for Plateau North Senatorial district and Bassa/Jos North federal constituency were marred mainly by voter apathy and ballot papers shortage.
In some of the poling units, some INEC officials were held hostage by angry voters who wanted to cast their ballot but could not due to a shortage of ballot papers.