Friday, March 31, 2023



INEC postpones election in two Benue constituencies over ballot paper ‘mix-up’

INEC postpones election in two Benue constituencies over ballot paper ‘mix-up’
March 19
09:41 2023

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed gubernatorial and state assembly elections in Kwande east and west constituencies of the LGA in Benue following a mix-up of election materials.

Sam Egwu, state resident electoral commissioner (REC), made the announcement on Saturday evening.

Shawon Gboko, chairman of Usar council ward in Kwande LGA, had told TheCable that voting materials had been misplaced in the eastern constituency.

Gboko said the development frustrated voters, noting that a complaint had been laid and that voting would not commence till the issue was rectified.


“We have gone to the INEC office at Adikpo and told them that we will not vote till the issue is rectified. Even if it takes all day for the issue to be fixed, we must vote,” he said.


In a statement on Saturday, the state REC said the mistake only reflected on the state assembly ballot papers, noting that voting for the governorship poll would have gone ahead.


Egwu said plans to reprint the INEC materials had been put in place which would result in a shift in the elections.

“On behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), I announce the postponement of the Governorship and State Assembly elections in Kwande East and West constituencies in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State,” the statement reads.

“The Commission deployed all non-sensitive and sensitive materials to the 23 Local Government Areas of Benue State including Kwande Local Government preparatory to the Governorship and State Assembly elections rescheduled for March 18, 2023.

“All the materials were successfully deployed to the Registration Areas on Friday and the RACs were subsequently activated. However, in the course of the distribution of materials and deployment to the polling units this morning a printing error showing that ballot papers meant for Kwande East were labeled Kwande West, while those for Kwande West were labelled Kwande East was discovered.


“The error is also reflected in the result sheets for the two constituencies. However, this error has nothing to do with the ballot papers meant for the governorship election which means governorship election could have proceeded in the Local Government.

”Following the discovery of the printing errors, stakeholders in the Local government across the political spectrum who met in the palace of Ter Kwande took a decision not to allow polls to continue where it had commenced, and for deployment not to continue to the other polling units.

“They rejected appeals to allow the governorship election to proceed while the Commission arranges for the reprinting of the ballot papers for the two-state constituencies to address the error on the ground that they would prefer to hold the two elections on the same day. As things stand, the Commission is fated to reprint the ballot papers for the two elections and schedule a new date for the elections.

“The decision to reprint the ballot papers for the governorship election is in recognition of the fact that ballot papers had been exposed to the public having commenced voting in some polling units.


“Consequently, the people of Kwande Local Government, and, indeed, the entire Benue State will have to wait patiently for the Commission to do the needful and fix a new date for the governorship and State Assembly elections in Kwande Local Government.

“I thank the people of Benue state and Kwande Local Government for their understanding.”



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