The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the 15 pending by-elections in 11 states will now take place on 5 December 2020.
Tokunbo Abiru, APC Lagos East senatorial candidate
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, said this on Friday in Abuja after the management meeting of the commission.
According to him, the commission met on Friday and among other things reviewed the outcome of its quarterly engagements and consultations with critical stakeholders in the electoral process, and further reviewed the security situation and other challenges regarding the 15 pending by-elections.
He recalled that the commission met on 22nd October 2020 with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on the said bye-elections earlier scheduled to hold on October 31, 2020 but postponed on account of the security situation and other environmental challenges in the country.
He said that the commission met again on Thursday, 5th November 2020 and reviewed the situation, where it noted among others the extensive damage to and vandalism of its local government offices and facilities, which affected some areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold.
He added that the commission consequently consult stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a new date for the conduct of the elections, including meetings with political parties and CSOs on 10 November and with the media and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on 11 November and finally with all the RECs on 12 November.
“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 bye-elections on Saturday December 5, 2020,” Okoye said.
He urged voters and stakeholders in the states with the pending elections to continue to cooperate with the commission in its efforts to deliver credible elections under a safe environment.
The affected districts and constituencies are Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Bayelsa West Senatorial District; Nganzai State Constituency, Borno State; Bayo State Constituency, Borno State; Cross River North Senatorial District; and Obudu State Constituency, Cross River State.
Others are Imo North Senatorial District; Lagos East Senatorial District; Kosofe II State Constituency, Lagos State; Plateau South Senatorial District; Bakura State Constituency, Zamfara State; Ibaji State Constituency, Kogi State; Isi-Uzo State Constituency, Enugu State and Bakori State Constituency, Katsina State.