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Rerun Elections: 34 constituencies elect leaders as DSS, police warn mischief makers

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ADC governorship candidate Fatai Akinbade middle says vote buying marred Osun election1

34 constituencies across Nigeria today in the Saturday rerun election will vote for a senator, House of Representatives members, and State House of Assembly members after months of campaigns and preparations by candidates of various political parties.

The rerun elections will be held in one senatorial district, 11 federal constituencies, and 22 state assembly constituencies in Lagos, Ebonyi, and seven other states.

However, ahead of the exercise, the Department of State Services and the State Police Command have cautioned troublemakers and criminals to steer clear of polling units across the 34 constituencies in the country.

Also, some state police commands cautioned thugs and other criminals to stay away from the exercise.

Speaking on the election, the DSS urged political parties to act by the electoral act.

Peter Afunanya, DSS PRO, in a statement on Friday, urged the electorate and political parties to avoid any actions that could cause a breakdown of law and order.

It partly read, “The Department of State Services wishes to call on the electorate and participating political parties in the February 3, 2024, re-run and bye-elections to be of good conduct during and after the exercises in the affected States.

“In this regard, the service tasks the contending parties to shun all acts capable of causing a breakdown of law and order. Also, politicians and their supporters must strive to adhere to the electoral act and procedure.”

It urged the media and civil society organisations to shun fake narratives capable of dividing the country.

“The Service, therefore, advises those engaging in subversive endeavours or desirous of doing so to desist from such; consequently, it will not hesitate to bring defaulters, no matter how highly placed, to face the full weight of the law,” the statement further read.

In Niger State, the State Police Command warned that violators of the electoral process during Saturday’s rerun election in the state would be met with the full weight of the law.

The state commissioner of police, Shawulu Danmamman, assured Niger residents of adequate security ahead of the House of Assembly re-run election for the Lavun constituency.

In Enugu State, the Commissioner of Police of the State, Kanayo Uzuegbu, ordered a massive deployment of police operatives and other security resources to ensure hitch-free rerun elections in the Enugu South, Igbo-Eze North, and Udenu local government areas.

The police and the Enugu State Government ordered a restriction of movement in the three council areas where elections are to be held to ensure orderly and hitch-free elections.

However, the Independent National Electoral Commission in Enugu State on Friday took delivery of sensitive materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria ahead of today’s re-run elections in some parts of the state.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in his office on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has deployed 2,000 officers and men of the command, including sister security agencies, to provide security before, during, and after the re-run election slated for Saturday, February 3, 2024. It announced the restriction of movement from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Election Day in the affected local government areas of Ini, Okono, and Ibiono-Ibom local governments. This is according to a statement by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, in Uyo on Friday.

While preparing for the elections, the Benue State chapter of the Labour Party has debunked a N50 million donation allegation against its candidate vying for Saturday’s by-election for the Guma 1 state constituency seat, Hon. Peter China.

There had been reports in some sections of the media that the Benue State Governor, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia, recently gave the sum of N50 million as support to the LP’s candidate to help him win the by-election because he (Alia) was not pleased with the emergence of Hon. Uche Terwase Peter as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the poll.

Speaking on the matter in Lafia on Friday, the Benue State LP chairman, Comrade Ibrahim Idoko, described the allegation as baseless.

He said, “The allegation that Governor Hyacinth Alia gave N50 million to our candidate for the Guma 1 state constituency seat, Peter China, is not true. It is a figment of the imagination of those who produced such narratives.

“The Labour Party in Benue State is independent, and we are working very closely with our candidate for tomorrow’s by-election. We have never had any contact with the governor, so the narrative is incorrect.

“We are prepared for the by-election and optimistic about getting a victory because our candidate is a grassroots politician who has greatly impacted the lives of his people.”

The LP chairman, therefore, urged political opponents in the state to shun spreading rumours and lies that are capable of causing unnecessary tension before, during, and after the by-election in the state.

While commending the state governor, security agencies, and the Independent National Electoral Commission for assuring political parties in the state of a level playing field during the poll, Idoko called on all residents of the state to continue to live in peace and harmony, irrespective of political affiliations.

“We have been assured of a level playing field for all political parties, so we have nothing to worry about. If our political opponents are having issues in their parties, they should not bother to involve the Labour Party through lies and misinformation because we will never be distracted,” the Benue LP chairman added.

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