INEC to hold Lagos, Imo, Bayelsa, others bye-elections December
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed December 5, 2020, for the pending bye-elections in six senatorial districts and nine state constituencies.
INEC national commissioner and chairman of its information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye made the disclosure in a statement on Friday.
Okoye said the decision was reached after the commission reviewed the outcome of its quarterly consultations with critical stakeholders in the electoral process, and the security situation and other challenges regarding the pending by-elections.
INEC postponed the bye-elections earlier scheduled for October 31, 2020, following the #EndSARS nationwide protests.
The 15 pending by-elections are to take place in 11 states of the federation – Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Nganzai and Bayo constituencies in Borno State, Cross River North Senatorial District and Obudu Constituency in Cross River.
Others are Imo North Senatorial District, Lagos East Senatorial District, Kosofe II Constituency in Lagos State, Plateau South Senatorial District, Bakura Constituency in Zamfara and Ibaji Constituency in Kogi.
“It will be recalled that the Commission met on October 22, 2020, with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to deliberate on the said by-elections earlier scheduled to hold on October 31, 2020 but postponed on account of the security situation and other environmental challenges in the country,” Okoye said.
“The Commission met again on Thursday, November 5, 2020 and reviewed the situation. It noted among other things the extensive damage to and vandalization of its local government offices and facilities, which affected some areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold. Consequently, the Commission decided to consult critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the by-elections.
“The Commission consulted with Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations on Tuesday November 10, 2020 and with the Media and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday November 11, 2020. Finally, it met with all Resident Electoral Commissioners on Thursday, November 12, 2020.
“Based on these consultations, the Commission believes that security in the affected States has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated. Consequently, the Commission has decided to hold all the pending by-elections on Saturday December 5, 2020.
“The Commission acknowledges the support, understanding and cooperation of political parties, the security agencies, the media civil society organizations and the general public as it considers the scheduling of the by-elections and in its overall efforts to reposition the electoral process and give meaning and value to the votes of the people.”
Okoye appealed to voters and stakeholders in the affected states to continue to cooperate with the electoral body in its efforts to deliver credible elections under a safe environment.