The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has summoned a management meeting for this Friday to receive and consider the report of a fact-finding team it sent to Rivers State.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The panel on Rivers State will on Friday submit its report to INEC management. Thereafter, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and his team will consider the findings and make a pronouncement…”
There are four options before INEC now. They are:
- Whether or not to cancel the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State;
- Restricted conduct of elections only in units, wards or areas affected by violence.
- Announcement of collated or retrieved results if the security situation does not permit a fresh poll;
- Declaring the results as it were and leaving the aggrieved to go to the tribunal.
According to the source, any delay in taking a decision may lead to a constitutional crisis in the state.
“INEC will be fair, just, equitable and it will be guided by the Electoral Act, 2010( as amended) in its decision on Rivers State.
“The panel has concluded its assignment. Were it not for the issuance of Certificates of Return to senators and Representatives-elect, we would have considered the report on Rivers on Thursday (yesterday).”
The Nation gathered tat the team which investigated the disruption of the collation and cancellation of results in Tafawa Balewa LGA of Bauchi State had also concluded its assignment.
“We will look at the findings of this committee to guide the conduct of supplementary elections in the state on March 23,” the source said.
The two leading parties – APC and PDP – have started preparations for the make-up poll ordered in six states on March 23.
The national leadership of the PDP said yesterday that the party was set for the supplementary poll in states where the elections were declared inconclusive.
The states are: Kano, Bauchi, Benue, Sokoto, Adamawa and Plateau.