Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has declared the seats of Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa
West Senatorial Districts vacant, following the election of their occupants as governor
and deputy governor of Bayelsa state respectively.
Bayelsa state governor, Sen. Diri Douye represented Bayelsa Central while his deputy,
Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo represented Bayelsa West.
Speaking at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs on Friday in Abuja,
Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said
the electoral umpire would soon pick dates for the conduct of a by-election to fill the two seats.
“In compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, the Commission has presented
Certificates of Return in respect of the Governorship elections in Imo and Bayelsa States.
In the case of Bayelsa State, both the Governor and Deputy Governor were serving Senators.
Consequently, the Commission yesterday Thursday 20th February 2020 received two communications
from the Senate President declaring the seats for Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West Senatorial
Districts vacant. The Commission will soon meet to determine the dates for by-elections in the two
He also spoke on the forthcoming Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, warning
political parties to strictly adhere to its timetable and schedule of activities as of the late
nomination of candidates after the deadline would not be accepted.
“As stated earlier, the end of tenure Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo are holding later in the year.
Given recent experience with some Governorship elections, political parties need to do more to avoid
the conduct of acrimonious primaries or failure to observe due diligence in the screening of their
candidates, resulting in protracted litigations and eventual determination of the outcome of elections
by orders of the court.
I wish to draw the attention of political parties to two critical dates in the timetable released by the
Commission a few weeks ago. Party primaries for the democratic election and nomination of
candidates for the Governorship election in Edo State must be held from 2nd to 27th June 2020.
The date for Ondo State is 2nd to 25th July 2020. The Commission will not extend the dates. We will
also rigorously monitor the primaries and where necessary, apply sanctions as provided by law.
“At the same time, the personal particulars of all the candidates nominated by political parties for
the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, including their academic qualifications, will be displayed
in our offices in the two States as required by law. This will enable citizens to scrutinise them and take
legal action against any candidate who provides false information to the Commission.
The personal particulars of candidates will be displayed on 6th July 2020 in Edo State and on
4th August 2020 in Ondo State. I wish to appeal to citizens to note the dates and to seize the opportunity
to scrutinise the information provided on oath by the candidates in the interest of our democracy
and good governance.
“Ahead of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, critical changes will be introduced to strengthen
our processes and procedures. Similarly, the Commission, jointly with the security agencies, is reviewing
deployment during elections. Already, the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES)
has set up a Committee in this respect. The inaugural meeting of the Committee is holding on Wednesday next week.
“As you are aware, the Commission has released the timetable and schedule of activities for the Edo and
Ondo Governorship elections to be held on 19th September 2020 and 10th October 2020 respectively.
Furthermore, the Commission has released the timetable and schedule of activities for bye-elections
to fill vacancies in Magama/Rijau Federal Constituency in Niger State, Babura/Garki Federal
Constituency in Jigawa State, Patigi State Constituency in Kwara State and Kebbe State Constituency
in Sokoto State. Going by the timetable, the period for the conduct of party primaries and nomination
of candidates has lapsed. Four political parties have nominated candidates for the Magama/Rijau Federal
Constituency, three parties for Babura/Garki Federal Constituency, six parties for Patigi State Constituency
and seven parties for Kebbe State Constituency.
The elections are scheduled to hold simultaneously in the four states on Saturday 14th March 2020.
“For our part, the Commission has been studying the judgements of courts arising from the conduct
of recent elections. We have also been reviewing the reports from accredited observers as well as
internal reports from our State Offices. We will continue to keep an eye on the conduct of our officials and apply appropriate sanctions on
erring staff, both regular and ad-hoc”, he added.