The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti State, Prof. Abduganiy Raji, on Thursday said the commission was now ready for the pending by-election to fill the vacant seat in the state House of Assembly.
The REC said the state office of INEC was, however, expecting directives from the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on modalities for the conduct of the by-election.
NAN reports that the position of the lawmaker representing Ekiti Southwest constituency II, comprising Igbara-Odo and Ogotun towns became vacant following the death of Michael Adedeji through alleged murder.
Adedeji, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party was shot in the head on October 26, 2018; he died a few days later at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti.
The REC told newsmen in Ado Ekiti that the commission was fully prepared for the polls.
Raji, who spoke through the Commission’s Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Taiwo Gbadegesin, said that he had written to the INEC’s national chairman on the vacancy and was only awaiting directive.
He said: “We are set for the election and we hope that the by-election will be conducted by January. We have written to Abuja, I mean, to INEC National Chairman and we are expecting him to set the time table for us to conduct the election.
“You know it is important for the constituency to have a representative to speak for them and the commission is not unaware of this. We are prepared for the polls, but we can’t unilaterally take decision, it has to be given from Abuja.
“I want to assure our people that there is no reason to be apprehensive about this; the by-election will be held in due course, that we assure the constituents from that area.
“The RECs all over the country are in Abuja holding meetings with INEC National leadership and I know this by-election will be tabled at the conference.
“We didn’t disappoint Nigerians during the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti despite the fear that pervaded the land that the election could either be aborted or botched by threats from politicians, but we were above board and delivered.”
Raji stated that many of the commission’s personnel had undergone further trainings in Abuja, Enugu and Imo States, adding that they were ready for the 2019 in Ekiti which he described as crucial.
He said: “We have resolved the issue of dearth of personnel, as we speak we have enough staff to prosecute election.
“Training is crucial to the success of elections and that we have done and we will still do more for Nigerians to have elections that meet global standard and that can make us proud of our country.”