INEC shifts 6 Senatorial, 9 states by elections due on Oct 31
By GFDNews Correspondent
Apparently, in response to the widespread violent disruption in some parts of the country, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed the 15 senatorial and state bye-elections slated for October 31 in 11 states.
In a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, INEC said the decision was taken after meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Thursday.
“On Wednesday, October 21, 2020, the Commission notified the nation that having taken cognizance of the current security situation in parts of the country, a meeting with 37 RECs will be held to evaluate the situation in the states and constituencies where bye-election have been scheduled.
“Accordingly, the commission has decided to postpone the bye-elections in the six Senatorial Districts and nine state constituencies.
“This decision is in compliance with Section 26 (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), which gives the commission the power to postpone an election if there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date, or that it is impossible to conduct the elections as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies.
“The commission will continue to monitor the situation in all the states and constituencies, consult with relevant stakeholders and meet again in two weeks to review the situation and decide on a feasible date for the elections,” the statement posted on the Twitter handle of the commission stated.
The commission appeals for calm and understanding of the stakeholders and voters in the states where elections were scheduled. The safety of the voters, election officials and other stakeholders, the statement said was paramount to the Commission in conducting elections.
“We are convinced that the country will emerge from the current challenges stronger while our electoral process will continue to improve.”
The commission however said it would continue to monitor the situation in all the states and constituencies, consult with relevant stakeholders and meet again in two weeks to review the situation and decide on a feasible date for the elections.
The pending by-elections are Bayelsa Central Senatorial District; Bayelsa West Senatorial District; Nganzai and Bayo Constituencies in Borno State; Cross River North Senatorial District; 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.
The bye-elections in the federal and state legislative houses were due to the resignation or death of members in eight states of the federation.