Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National electoral commission, INEC, says the process to replace Senator Isiaka Adeleke who died recently may commence soon.
The Administrative Secretary of INEC in Osun state, Adeyemi Ademusire was speaking at the flag off of the Continuous Voters Registration Exercise in the State.
Ademusire said though the commission was yet to be formally notified of the vacancy of the seat in the Senate, the procedure for conducting a by-election will start immediately it receives the signal.
“According to the electoral law, the procedure shall commence with his political party, All Progressives Congress, informing the Senate after which the lawmakers will then notify the commission.
“In as much as we are aware that we have lost an illustrious son in Osun, it remains unofficial information until the National Assembly communicates same to the Independent National Electoral Commission. We should also realise that the law gives a timeline within which INEC must inform the public and set in motion the necessary machinery to replace him (late Senator Isiaka Adeleke),” he explained.
Newly registered voters will not vote
The Administrative Secretary however said the potential voters who would be registered in the Continuous Voters Registration exercise might not participate in the by-election since the old voters’ register would be used.
“The process involves registration of voters which will be displayed for verification after every quarter. This shall be followed by claims and counter-claims. It is after all complaints are resolved that the Permanent Voter Card would be issued. No one will vote with Temporary Voter Card,” he said.
The INEC boss explained that sensitization and mobilisation of voters is everybody’s responsibility and urged all stakeholders to key into the exercise.
“The commission has been holding meetings with political parties, monarchs and palace chiefs, political parties, religious bodies, professional bodies, market women, artisans, road transport workers among others to ensure adequate mobilisation of the residents of Osun State for the exercise.
“Let me also caution that the continuous registration is not a party affair, but a way of upgrading INEC voters database so that those who have just attained the age of 18 and those that were not captured in the previous exercise would be accommodated,” Mr Ademusire said.
He however called on religious bodies, political parties, social groups and the media to support the commission and help mobilize those who have not registered to come out and do so.
The INEC boss warned that the commission shall prosecute anyone who indulges in multiple registration and other electoral offences.
He said adults must be a Nigerian and of 18 years and above to qualify for the registration.