The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it only declares an election inconclusive whenever the situation calls for such.
Concise News understands that the INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said this in Abuja on Wednesday at a meeting with media organizations.
Mahmood Yakubu said violence is one of the circumstances that may make the electoral umpire declare an election inconclusive.
He, however, noted that such situations are not peculiar to Nigeria alone, urging media practitioners to help the body in their reportage.
Also, he told the journalists to ensure that they carry out their work with professionalism especially when it concerns elections.
“First, what is an inconclusive election? It’s an election in which a winner has not emerged at first ballot, that is essentially what it is,” the INEC boss noted.
“So now you mobilize and remedy the problem and make a declaration. Is it strange in Nigeria? It’s not strange. In 2013, was the Anambra governorship election concluded on first ballot?
“In 2015, the governorship election in Taraba state was declared inconclusive, the commission remobilized and concluded the election two weeks later.
“In 2011 and 2015, the Imo governorship election was inconclusive, the commission remobilized. In 2015, Abia election was inconclusive, the commission remobilized.
“There are two sections of the Electoral Act that we need to focus on. The first one is Section 26, which says “in the event of violence or natural disaster, INEC should not proceed with an election and if the total number of registered persons in the place affected is more than the margin of lead where you have conducted the election, then don’t make a declaration until you go back and complete the election.”
This is as he said, “Section 53 of the Electoral Act is very clear, in the event of over-voting, INEC is prohibited by law from making a declaration.
“The law says ‘don’t make return until you go back to those polling units and you conduct election where the number of registered voters will make a difference to the margin of lead. I’m yet to hear any Nigerian say this commission has declared any election inconclusive outside the law.
“From my experience, anywhere you see inconclusive election, it is as a result of violence. In Bayelsa in 2015, elections were inconclusive in certain parts of the eight local governments.
“The only exception was my darling local government; Kolokuma-Opokuma. I don’t know what makes Kolokuma-Opokuma different.
“I don’t know why it is so, if anyone has an answer, I will be willing to know. We use the same regulations and guidelines, same laws, the same processes, election one be conclusive in one area, it will be inconclusive in others.”