At the end of the Stakeholders meeting on Sept 7, 2016, attended by relevant security agencies including representatives of the Inspector General of Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Civil Society Organisations and other critical stakeholders in the electoral process, the Indepedent National Electoral Commission (INEC) affirmed its preparedness to conduct the Edo State Governorship Election on Sat Sept 10th.
The Commission stated, and now wishes to reiterate, for the record, the it successfully implemented 12 of the 14 activities on the Election Timeline. Futhermore, the Commission has deployed over 18,000 electoral staff, secured and deployed all materials required for the election and mobilised over 1.9 million voters to exercise their civic responsibilities.
Towards the end of that stakeholders’ meeting, news filtered in from the social media that the Police and the DSS were advising the Commission to postpone the election on security grounds. However, in view of the assurances received from security agencies at the stakeholders’ meeting and in the absence of any official communication, the Commission resolved to proceed with the election.
However, at about 6pm today (Sept 8), the Commission received official communication from the Police and the DSS, drawing its attention to the need to postpone the Edo governorship election. Such a postponement, the communication indicates, is necessary in view of the threats of terrorist activities in Edo and other states of the federation during the election and over the Sallah period. The deployment of security personnel countrywide to secure lives and property would overstretch their capacity to, at the same time, provide adequate security for the election.
Consequently, the Commission notes the request of the security agencies and, considering the security implications of proceeding with the election, the safety of eligible voters, electoral officials, including ad-hoc staff and other stakeholders, has decided to reschedule the Edo governorship election to Wednesday 28th Sept 2016.
The Commission enjoins all eligible voters in Edo state, political parties, candidates and other stakeholders to be peaceful and law abiding.
Prince Solomon A. Soyebi
Tags: The Media