Edo, Ondo polls: we will not jeopardise voters’ health, INEC assures
As commission insists polls will not be rescheduled
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the nation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured voters in Edo and Ondo states of its commitment in conducting the forthcoming governorship polls without endangering their health and wellbeing.
This is as the commission insisted that dates and schedule of activities for the elections remain intact.
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye gave the assurance in a statement released Tuesday night in Abuja.
INEC had slated September 19, 2020, for the governorship election in Edo State while that of Ondo State was fixed for October 10, 2020.
The electoral umpire, however, is yet to fix a date for the outstanding by-elections.
He disclosed that Commission would on Thursday issue a policy framework for engagement with stakeholders, conduct of the elections and future electoral activities in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Okoye stated: “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 ends of tenure governorship elections, outstanding bye-elections and future electoral activities.
“The Commission reiterated its commitment to conduct the Edo and Ondo governorship elections on 19th September and 10th October 2020 as contained in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released on 6th February 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 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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