The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC, has insisted that the Edo and Ondo states gubernatorial election planned for September 19 and October 10, 2020 respectively, will hold as scheduled.
The timeline for the elections was contained in the timetable and schedule of activities released by the electoral umpire on February 6, 2020.
Reiterating the resolve of INEC to conduct both election according to schedule, INEC’s National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in a statement said that 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 statement further reads “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, May 21, 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 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 well-being 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.”