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Senate President Lawan declares Bayelsa Gov’s seat, deputy vacant

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.

The 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 Senatorial Districts”, said Yakubu.

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.”

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