Seven political parties have signified their readiness to take part in the March 14 by-election into Patigi Constituency in the Kwara State House of Assembly.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in Kwara, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami made this known in Ilorin on Monday.
According to the REC, the seven political parties were the ones that held their primaries on or before the Feb 16 deadline for parties to conduct primaries to pick their candidates.
He listed the political parties that would take part in the election to include the All Progressives Congress (APC), African Democratic Congress (ADC), People Democratic Party (PDP) and New Nigeria People Party (NNPP).
Others are Action People Party (APP), Action Alliance (AA) and African Action Congress (AAC).
Attahiru-Madami said the Commission held a management meeting after receiving the timetable from the national headquarters to draw its own timetable to accommodate the headquarters’ timetable.
“We now have unified timetable, we have 38 items on the timetable that we have to accomplish before the March 14 by-election.
“What we have to do is to follow it meticulously to ensure that we have a free, credible and acceptable election,” he said.
He said that political parties were supposed to conduct their primaries between Feb 13 and 16 to pick their candidates for the elections.
The REC added that as at the time of the deadline on Sunday, only seven parties have conducted their primaries, adding that the seven political parties would take part in the election.
He said that he had met with members of security committee to brief them about and prepare their mind on the coming by-election.
“You that election in Nigeria can only be compromised with the assistant of INEC itself, we must ensure that we keep our integrity intact.
“With the support of the people and blessing of God, we were able to conduct one of the best election in the state, it was peaceful and credible. We must surpass that feat in the coming by-election in Patigi,” he said.
“My belief is that if we did 16 local governments and did it very well, we should do this one local government better and should never underrate this one local government.
“That is why I started preparation early to ensure that we have a perfect arrangement in place, it may be difficult to get 100 percent, but we will get at least 99.9 percent.
“I can assure you that we will have a peaceful and credible election. We will state announcement by this week,” the REC added.
Attahiru-Madami said INEC would collaborate with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), to help in mobilising and sensitising the people of the area for the election.
According to the REC, one area INEC cannot compromise is security; adding, “We will not compromise the security of the people and election materials during the by-election.”
He said INEC would make use of about 128 youth corps members as ad-hoc staff for the election in addition to staff of the commission.
“We are doing all humanly possible to ensure that Kwara by –election is free, credible, acceptable and better that the 2019 general election. We cannot afford to go beyond this standard,” he added.
Attahiru-Madami therefore appealed to the people of the local government to come out on the day of the election.