The distribution of sensitive electoral materials for the upcoming re-run election in Plateau State has commenced, but tension is rising as it was discovered that the ballot papers lack the logo of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to conduct the re-run election across the six Local Government Areas of the state on Saturday.
The distribution process took place at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) premises in Jos, with political party representatives, observers, journalists, and security personnel present. However, the absence of the PDP logo on the ballot papers has led to protests and accusations against INEC for disregarding the Court of Appeal judgment, which mandated the participation of all parties in the re-run election.
Earlier on Wednesday, members of the PDP and their supporters staged a protest at the INEC headquarters in Jos, expressing concerns about the alleged exclusion of the PDP in the upcoming re-run election. Officials from INEC assured them that the issue would be addressed.
The PDP supporters demanded evidence of the party’s inclusion on the ballot for the Plateau North Senatorial District and Bassa/Jos North Federal Constituency, where the re-run election is scheduled to take place on Saturday.
Rumors circulating earlier suggested that the PDP and its candidates might not participate in the re-run poll due to the Court of Appeal judgment that nullified the elections in the two constituencies. The court nullified the elections won by PDP’s candidates, Senator Simon Mwadkwon for Plateau North, and Musa Agah for Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, citing the party’s lack of a proper structure.
INEC had initially declared Agah and Mwadkwon as winners, but the Appeal Court’s successful petitions by other parties led to the ordering of re-run elections in the two constituencies, scheduled for February 3, 2024. The situation remains tense as stakeholders seek resolution ahead of the crucial electoral exercise.