The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has announced March 14, 2020 as the date for the bye-election for the House of Assembly seat in Patigi Constituency of Kwara.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in the state, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami disclosed this in his office when he received executives of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), led by its Chairman, Prince Adebayo Akadi in office.
He told 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 commence preparation for the by-election.
It may be recalled that the member representing Patigi Constituency in the House, Hon Ahmed Saidu Rufai died on Tues, Dec 3, 2019.
Also, 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.
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 doesn’t have thugs, it 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,
“That was while Kwara election was the most peaceful election in the country, despite the fact that Kwara is marked as a flash point. Your cooperation has gone a long way in conducting a free and fair election.
“Not that alone, the trust who had for me and I made sure that I did not betray that trust. I was open and sincere to everybody. I gave all of you the necessary documents and I gave all of you level playing ground,” the REC said.
He said that the outcome of the 2019 general elections in the state had built confidence in the people especially youths who had been coming to say they want to register as voters after attaining the age of 18.
“They now that their vote is going to count, everybody is anxious for this election.
“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 even better result than that of 2019.
“You know it is not easy when you set a standard, to maintain the standard, you have to do extraordinary work to maintain that standard,
“As we say in sport, when you are a champion, to remain a champion is not easy, you have to do things differently and better to remain a champion.
“Let us surpass our performance in 2019 in this bye-election, so that everybody will know that IPAC in Kwara is a united front,” he said,
Attahiru-Madami appealed to IPAC members to put the issue of their election behind, resolve their differences and move the council forward.
Earlier, IPAC Chairman, Akadi told the REC that the meeting was to familiarize IPAC executive members with the Commission.
Akadi promised the REC of IPAC unflinching support to make his assignment in Kwara a huge success.