INEC to ignore Postpone of election to avoid Crisis
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday said postponing elections scheduled for this year due to the coronavirus pandemic would throw Nigeria into “avoidable constitutional crisis”.
The commission also stated that accreditation of journalists to cover the governorship elections in Ondo and Edo States as well as bye-elections lined up for this year would be done online.
According to PUNCH, apart from the Edo and Ondo States scheduled for September 19 and October 10, 2020, respectively, the commission would be conducting 10 other elections, including five Senatorial and four State Assembly bye-elections spread across nine states of the federation.
INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, stated this in his speech on the modalities for voter education and publicity activities during a virtual meeting with the media, adding that the commission would rather go with innocation and creativity than throw in the towel due to the pandemic.
He said, “In such circumstances and situations, some countries and nations may buckle, throw in the towel in defeat and are completely overwhelmed. Sometimes, such situations throw up new players and spur creativity and innovation that accelerates development.”
“The commission is therefore determined to be part and indeed lead the process of innovation and creativity in the electoral process rather than throw in the towel and postpone all elections to an indeterminate period.”
Festus Okoye also enlightened that “Throwing in the towel in our constitutional circumstances may do violence to the constitution and wittingly or unwittingly throw the country into avoidable constitutional crisis.”
“The commission is therefore determined to proceed with the two end of tenure governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States and the ten Senatorial and State Assembly elections with cautious optimistic bearing in mind that the health and safety of the people will be crucial determinants of the success or otherwise of the elections.”
“We are mindful of the fact that we are at war with an “unseen enemy. We are aware of the fact that some of our compatriots have lost their lives on account of COVID – 19 pandemic. We are aware that so many people are in isolation and quarantine centres. We are aware that some of our people are isolated and quarantined at home.”
Moreso, the commission has warned Edo, Ondo voters against wearing campaign facemasks at the Polling Units, vowing to disenfranchise such people.