INEC says elections in Edo, Ondo will proceed as planned despite COVID-19

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to proceed with the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states. Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Saturday during its first virtual meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).

According to Yakubu, just like every other national institution in Nigeria, “the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our activities”. He noted that for instance, further engagement with the National Assembly and stakeholders on electoral reform as well as the conduct of some off-season elections had to be suspended because of the global health emergency.

But the INEC boss said thankfully, the PTF has now issued guidelines on protective measures for the gradual restoration of normalcy nationwide. On that basis, he noted that the Commission recently released its own policy on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Commission is convinced that electoral activities can resume but in full compliance with the advisory issued by health authorities. “Consequently, the end of tenure Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States scheduled for 19th September 2020 and 10th October 2020 respectively will proceed as planned.

“While the Commission takes the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, our democracy and electoral process cannot be truncated for this reason, particularly because health authorities have advised on measures to protect the public from the virus, including all those involved in elections,” Yakubu added.

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