By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has scheduled all pending bye-elections, made up of six senatorial districts and six states Assembly seats for Saturday, 31st October this year.
The Professor Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC confirmed this in a statement yesterday after its meeting in Abuja.
The affected bye elections, according to the statement signed by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman,
Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye, included; Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Nganzai State Constituency, Borno State, Bayo State Constituency, Borno State, Cross River North Senatorial District, Obudu State Constituency, Cross River State, Imo North Senatorial District, Lagos East Senatorial District,
Kosofe II State Constituency, Lagos State, Plateau South Senatorial District, Bakura State Constituency, Zamfara State and Ibaji State Constituency, Kogi State
The Commission said that by the harmonized Timetable, it will give the Notice of Election on 17th August 2020, while Political Parties will conduct their primaries to nominate candidates between 24th August and 8th September 2020.
Submission of Forms and Personal Particulars of Candidates, the statement stressed, will commence on 9th September and close at 6pm on 13th September 2020.
The Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the bye-elections, it added, has been uploaded on the Commission’s website and social media platforms.
The further said that its attention has been drawn to the existence of vacancies isi-Uzo State Constituency in Enugu State and Bakori State Constituency in Katsina State.
It however stated that the vacancies have not been formally declared by the Speakers of the affected State Assemblies.
The Commission implores concerned stakeholders, particularly political parties, to take note of the timelines in the schedule and strictly adhere to them.
The statement reads in part, “The Commission met today 11th August 2020 and reviewed preparations for Edo and Ondo States Governorship elections, the conduct of the Nasarawa Central State Constituency election held on Saturday 8th August as well as all outstanding bye-elections.
“Several vacancies have occurred in both Federal and State Legislative Houses as a result of resignation or death of members, affecting 12 constituencies across 8 States of the Federation.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission decided earlier to suspend the conduct of all bye-elections until it is satisfied that the elections can be conducted in a safe and conducive environment.
“Since then, the Commission has developed its Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, revised its Regulations and Guidelines and engaged with health authorities and stakeholders on conducting elections in an environment that guarantees both credibility and public safety.
“The Commission has also successfully conducted the bye-election to fill the vacancy in the Nasarawa Central State Constituency and is going ahead with the conduct of governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States on the 19th September and 10th October respectively”, the statement said.