2023 elections

March 18, 2023

Benue: INEC may shift Kwande LG polls over printing error – REC

..commends peaceful conduct of electorate

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, for Benue State, Prof. Sam Egwu says Governorship and State Assembly election in Kwande Local Government Area, LGA, of the state may be shifted over printing error noticed on the ballot papers for the two constituencies in the area.

Prof. Egwu who spoke shortly after monitoring the election in parts of Guma LGA however commended the Commission for the timely distribution of the election materials as well as the peaceful conduct of the electorates.

According to the REC, “even if you are not here yourself you might have been briefed that electiom started very early and this is the result of the work we have done in addressing the logistics of this election by getting the road transport union to deliver.

“So the poll started early and we are almost mid day and assured it will end very well to sustain the peace we have been having since morning.

“I have spoken to the party agents across the party spectrum and what they told me is that they are satisfied with the process and if party agents come out to say they are satisfied with the process we cannot  make any judgment of it.

“We are very hopeful that vote will close early, counting will commence peacefully and we can move to the next stage of collation and once we are done with that timely enough we move to the next level which is Local Government collation; and we can say before it is too late we can come to the end of the election.

“I must point out that we do have a smooth process but we have problem with Kwande LGA and I have ben talking to political leaders in the state.

“The problem in Kwande is that there is printing error on the ballot papers. There are two state constituencies there and what should have been put on one constituency was mistakingly put on the other. This is a printing error from Abuja and because of level of credibility we have built we could not open that ballot papers till this morning.

“I have appealed to stakeholders that we can have an INEC administration of using our strong pen to strike out the one constituency and put the correct one and use our stamp and sign that will not affect the integrity of the process.

“I have explained that to the political leaders across the party lines but they don’t appear to be convinced and therefore they do not think that the process should continue.

“My position is that if on their own for that reason they are unwilling to vote, I don’t have any means of compelling them to vote and we will take the situation as it is and then prepare for the necessary arrangements to make for them to vote in accordance with the provision of the law.”