INEC : Why we can’t go back on Edo, Ondo guber elections despite COVID-19 pandemic

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it is going ahead to conduct the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections on September 19 and October 10, 2020 as contained in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released on February 6, 2020 despite the current crisis in the health sector.

A press statement signed by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee reassured. “Nigerians of our resolve and determination to provide the requisite guidance, innovation and leadership in conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” adding, “The Commission is committed to fulfilling its constitutional responsibility of conducting elections but without jeopardizing the health and wellbeing of citizens, stakeholders or its valued staff.”

According to the statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met today Tuesday 19th May 2020 and deliberated on a wide range of issues including the conduct of the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections, as well as the 9 outstanding bye elections in different parts of the country.

“The Commission deliberated extensively on a Policy Framework that will guide its operations, activities and engagements with critical stakeholders in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the electoral process in Nigeria. Based on this, the Commission will on Thursday 21st May 2020 issue a Policy Framework for engagement with stakeholders, the conduct of the two end of tenure governorship elections, outstanding bye elections and future electoral activities.

“The Commission will accelerate consultations and engagements with political parties, civil society organizations, security agencies and health authorities as soon as its Policy Framework is finalized this week.

“We again urge everyone to remain safe and healthy by complying with all the guidelines and protocols issued by the health authorities.”

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