From: Ali Abare, Gombe
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed August 19 for the bye-election for Dukku North state Assembly seat of Gombe State.
This followed the death, in June, of the elected member representing the Dukku North constituency, the late Gambo Ahmed Kabade.
Announcing the date for the bye election, on Friday, in Gombe, state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Usman Ibrahim, said the INEC was committed to conducting a free, fair and credible bye election.
At a meeting with critical stakeholders in Gombe, Ibrahim assured political parties participating in the exercise of a level-playing field, urging the them to cooperate with the Commission towards conducting a successful bye election.
Outlining the timeline of activities leading to the election, acting Administrative Secretary of the commission in the state, Mr. Zakari Musa explained that there was a delay in commencing the exercise because the clerk of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dominated Gombe State House of Assembly failed to communicate the passing on of the late member who won his ticket under the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Though we got notice of the demise of the lawmaker from a political party, we couldn’t act based on that as there are specific constitutional provisions guiding the conduct of bye-elections,” Musa explained.
Initially, the commission had proposed August 12 as date of the election but following outcries from smaller political parties that expressed concern over the short notice issued for conducting the election, stakeholder jointly agreed to the new date of August 19.
With the new date, according to the acting administrative secretary, parties are expected to conduct primary election between July 24-27.
Parties are expected to submit lists of nominated candidates on or before August 4, with the list of party agents expect at the commission by August 11.
Campaigns by political parties is expected to close by August 17 with the bye election taking place across the various polling units making up the Dukku North state assembly constituency.
The stakeholders’ meeting which was attended by representatives of the various security agencies in the state, saw the representative of the Commissioner of Police assuring that adequate arrangement would be put on ground for the peaceful conduct of the exercise.