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Senate urges INEC to fill vacant positions


INEC-boxThe Senate yesterday, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct re-run-elections to fill six vacant Senate positions in four affected states.

The states are Imo, with one senatorial district, Anambra, with one senatorial district, Rivers, with three senatorial districts and Kogi, with one senatorial district.

Adopting a motion sponsored by Senator Ben Murray Bruce, the Senate observed that it took INEC one week to conclude elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) but failed to achieve same feat in some other states.

Senator Ben Murray Bruce (Bayelsa East) said that INEC owed the upper chamber explanation on why the pending re-run elections have not been conducted. He noted that the non-representation of some states in the Senate is a violation of the constitution.

Senator Bruce, who asked the Senate to take up the issue with the INEC Chairman, said that the people of the affected areas have a right to be represented in the Senate.

Only on Tuesday, people from Imo North Senatorial District staged a protest at the National Assembly to call attention to the delay in conducting the Senatorial District re-run election.

Senator Bruce said, “We have not had representation in this chamber from Rivers State, part of Anambra, Imo, Kogi and some other states. INEC concluded elections in one week in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) but in these states they had no representation here and it does not make any sense.

“It is a violation of the constitution; the people of these states have a right to have representation here. The INEC Chairman owes us an explanation to explain why these elections have not been concluded.

“It is a simple matter and it is the responsibility for INEC to conclude these elections so that the people of these beautiful states have representation here in the Senate.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the plenary, explained that he was aware that INEC would meet today to fix dates for the election.

He said: “Let me just say that I am aware that INEC will be meeting tomorrow (today) to fix dates for this rerun or bye-elections but it is important that you have raised it so that the nation will know that we are concerned about the non-representation of some of these states.

“It is clear in the constitution that INEC should quickly conduct within 30 days bye-elections where vacancies occur and so it is far past 30 days when vacancies occurred in some places. It is important that we urge INEC to ensure that as soon as possible that these elections are conducted so that every part of the country, every state would have their full representation in the National Assembly.

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