By Ola Ajayi
THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oyo State has threatened to withdraw its officials, if any violence erupts during the re-run elections into the two vacant seats in the State House of Assembly.
The commission, through its Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Deacon Martins Okunfolami, at a meeting with election stakeholders in Ibadan yesterday, warned all the political parties involved in the elections to exercise caution as the commission would not want to endanger the lives of its staff.
He used the occasion to call on all registered voters who have refused to collect their permanent votersâ€™ cards to go to their respective local governments for them.
According to him, out of 5.7 million people in the state, only 1.7 million eligible voters registered and 1.4 million cards were printed but only 557,000 voters had come to collect their cards.
The elections of Mr. Dauda Lawal and Mr. Micheal Okunlade were canceled following the appeal filed against them by the candidates of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Mr. Sikiru Adebayo and Action Congress, Mr. Yisau Azeez.
Having found out that the election did not conform to the Electoral Act of 2006, results in 127 units of Lagelu and Oorelope Local government areas of the state were nullified and rerun election to be conducted within 90 days.
When the commission noticed that the cards were not requested for, he added that the cards were taken to all the 33 local governments but the turn-out was still low despite all entreaties made by the commission.
While calling on the parties to play the game according to rules, he hinted that the rerun election would now hold on the 15th August, 2009.