The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a statement informing the general public that bye-elections across the country have been postponed indefinitely as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
According to Festus Okoye, the commission’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, the timetable and schedule of activities for the postponed bye-election will be issued as soon as the coronavirus pandemic is contained.
He stressed that the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States scheduled for September and October 2020 respectively are not affected.
“This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), which empowers the commission to postpone any election in the event of any emergency or natural disaster.
“The Commission is compelled to take this step in recognition of the fact that all major activities in the electoral process involve large gathering of people.
“These include the conduct of political party primaries, campaigns, stakeholder meetings, training and deployment of election and security personnel, movement of accredited observers and journalists, congregation of voters and other stakeholders at polling units, as well as the collation centres.
“While the Commission acknowledges the right and desire of citizens for effective representation, there is an overriding public interest in ensuring the health, safety and well being of all stakeholders”, Okoye said.