By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has assured that his administration will provide the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC), with the necessary tools to enable the commission conduct the upcoming local government election in the state.
Engineer Sule gave the assurance while being presented with the report of the Gangaren Tudu electoral ward bye-election in Keffi Local Government Area, by the NASIEC Chairman, Barrister Ayuba Usman Wandai, at the Government House, on Thursday.
According to the Governor, as the commission is preparing towards the conduct of the local government election, NASIEC will require all necessary tools In order to carry out the exercise in line with its mandate.
While noting that his administration is looking forward to the conduct of the LG poll, which he described as most challenging, Engineer Sule assured that government will do everything possible to ensure fairness for all concerned.
Commenting on the challenges being faced by the NASIEC, the Governor assured also that government will address some of these challenges, especially that of a vehicle for the use of th chairman, which will be resolved in a matter of days.
Engineer Sule commended the NASIEC Chairman, for successfully conducting the bye-election in Gangaren Tudu, in spite of the prevailing challenges.
The Governor was particularly happy that weeks after the bye-election, no single petition was filed challenging the exercise.
“I want to commend you. I know you are going through lots of other challenges, lack of vehicles, lack of other materials, yet you have continued with the work.
“You have proven that indeed, we did not make the wrong choice in making you the chairman,” he stated.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, NASIEC Chairman, Barrister Ayuba Usman Wandai, informed the Governor that the commission, in line with its mandate, successfully conducted the November 14 bye-election in Gangaren Tudu electoral ward, in Keffi Local Government Area, in which two political parties namely the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) participated.
The NASIEC Chairman noted that in spite of the challenges associated with inadequate funding, skyrocketing price of election materials due to mostly inflation and inability of voters to comply with COVID-19 protocols, the exercise was generally successful.
“With rising costs of materials in the market, funds approved for the exercise became inadequate at the point of procurement.
“But for the prudence of the commission, the approved funds was managed efficiently and the election was conducted smoothly,” he explained.
According to Barrister Wandai, having satisfied the requirement of the law by scoring the highest number of votes, the candidate of the APC was declared winner, with the commission since issuing him with a certificate of return.
The chairman pointed out that 24 days after the conduct of the bye-election, no single petition emerged challenging the outcome of the election.
Barrister Wandai used the opportunity of the visit to inform the Governor about some of the challenges being faced by the commission, which include among others, lack of pool operational vehicles.
The commission then recommended that in future elections, there should be adequate sensitization for voters on the need to observe all COVID-19 protocols.