Controversies surround the rerun and supplementary rerun elections in Plateau State as civil society organizations urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections in 16 polling units before announcing any results.
A coalition of civil society organizations, including the Plateau Patriotic Youths for Democracy and Good Governance and the Plateau Peace Practitioners Network, voiced their concerns at a joint press conference in Jos on Sunday.
In their statement, the coalition expressed disappointment over INEC’s announcement that elections would be conducted in 16 polling units on Sunday, February 4th, following the rerun elections for Plateau North Senatorial District and Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency on Saturday, February 3rd.
The coalition alleged that the missing ballot papers from the 16 polling units seemed orchestrated to disenfranchise voters. They further criticized INEC for failing to ensure the timely commencement of the election process in most polling units, leaving prospective voters frustrated.
Pwakim Jacop of the Plateau Peace Practitioners Network raised concerns over the reappointment of the same electoral officer responsible for previous electoral tensions in the state. Additionally, he highlighted delays in the arrival of election materials at some polling units, despite assurances from INEC.
The coalition demanded that INEC conduct elections in the affected 16 polling units before declaring any results, emphasizing the importance of fairness and objectivity in the electoral process.
In response to the allegations, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Plateau, Dr. Tersoo Agundu, suspended the electoral officer for Jos North LGA over the disappearance of the ballot papers. Agundu stated that the suspension aims to facilitate an independent investigation into the incident.
As a result of these developments, the rerun elections in Plateau remain inconclusive at the time of this report.