John Alechenu and Friday Olokor
The Independent National Electoral Commission has ruled out shifting the date for the conduct of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, scheduled for September 19 and October 10 2020, respectively.
The commission also expressed determination to provide the requisite guidance, innovation and leadership in conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
INEC National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, explained this in a statement in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Okoye said, “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, May 21, 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 reiterated its commitment to conduct the Edo and Ondo governorship elections September 19 and October 10, 2020 as contained in the timetable and schedule of activities released on February 6, 2020.
“We reassure 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.
“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.
“The commission will accelerate consultations and engagements with political parties, civil society organisations, security agencies and health authorities as soon as its policy framework is finalised this week. We again urge everyone to remain safe and healthy by complying with all the guidelines and protocols issued by the health authorities.”
Meanwhile, the APC has announced Monday, June 22 and Monday, July 20 at dates for its governorship primary elections in Edo and Ondo states.
This was contained in a notice signed by the APC National Organizing Secretary, Emma Ibediro, in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Each aspirant is expected to pay a cumulative cost of N22.5m for nomination and expression of interest forms.
The sale of forms will begin on May 20th and end on July 2nd, 2020. June 3rd is the last day for the submission of the forms with all relevant documents.