The Independent National Electoral Commission has postponed the State House of Assembly election in eight of the 24 constituencies of Bayelsa State.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner , Mr. Baritor Kpagih, said in a statement on Friday that the elections for the affected constituencies would hold on Saturday, April 18, 2015.
The affected councils are Ekeremor Constituencies 1, 2, and 3, Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituencies 1 and 2, Sagbama Constituencies 1 and 2 and Southern Ijaw Constituency 1.
Kpagih said however that the election would hold as scheduled in the rest 16 constituencies on Saturday.
Curiously, the REC was silent on the reason for the decision to postpone the election by one week.
He simply stated that the election was shifted because of the position of stakeholders that election should not hold ‘without full complements of the ballot papers.’
He said, “Following the stand of the stakeholders that no election should take place in the State without full complement of ballot papers, having regard to the total PVC distributed, the State House of Assembly election slated for Saturday, the 11th of April, 2015, in Bayelsa State has been rescheduled to Saturday the 18th day of April, 2015 in the following constituencies…”
It was however revealed that the political parties and their candidates insisted on the postponement of the election because of serious discrepancies in the ballot papers for the constituencies.
It was further gathered that the number of ballot papers sent to the constituencies was inadequate.
For instance, INEC was said to have sent only 13,000 ballot papers out 27000 to Southern Ijaw Constituency, thereby creating a short fall of 14,000 ballot papers for the election.
Also, only 5000 ballot papers were available at the headquarters of the Ekeremor Constituency 3, for the election that was billed to be conducted with 15,000 ballot papers.
Already, there was mounting suspicion that there could be a covert plan to rig the election even before it’s conduct on Saturday.
The same situation which ignited suspicion in the various political parties, was repeated in the rest seven affected constituencies.
The Independent National Electoral Commission in Bayelsa State has postponed elections in eight constituencies of the state into the state House of Assembly.
It was learnt that the election was shifted due to “some discrepancies” noticed on the ballot papers.
Bayelsa is one of the six states, where the governorship election will not hold on Saturday as the incumbent have yet to serve out their tenure.
Other states are Osun, Ekiti, Kogi, Ondo and Edo.