Edo, Ondo polls will hold as scheduled – INEC insist

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured the September 19 and October 10 dates for Edo and Ondo governorship elections remain unchanged despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also said the timetable and schedule of activities for the elections stand.

These were disclosed after a meeting on Tuesday where wide ranging issues, including the coming governorship and outstanding bye elections were discussed.

According to a statement signed by National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the Commission will issue policy framework for engagement of stakeholders on Thursday.

The Commission restated its resolve to provide the requisite innovation in conducting elections in context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It added that it is committed to fulfilling its constitutional responsibility of conducting elections but without jeopardising the health and wellbeing of citizens.

According to the statement: “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”.

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It added: “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 finalised this week”.

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