The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will publish a notice of elections with respect to the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states on June 1 and July 1, 2020, respectively.
It also described the global coronavirus pandemic as not only a threat to human existence but also to the right of citizens to vote.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said this in Abuja.
Okoye said, “On June 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020, the commission will officially publish a notice in the two states stating the date of the elections and appointing the place at which nomination papers are to be delivered.”
He also noted that the commission was not unaware of the fact that political activities were at their lowest ebb.
Okoye explained that the commission had yet to discuss any issue relating to whether or not to adjust the timetable of activities for the Edo and Ondo elections scheduled for September 19 and October 10, 2020, respectively.
In response to a question as to whether INEC was considering the postponement of the elections, he said, “INEC is not contemplating doing so at this point in time when the official notification of both elections has not been given.
“The commission will not engage in speculative debate on the postponement of an election that is not officially in the public domain. The constitution and the Electoral Act have adjustable mechanisms that can be activated by the commission if the need arises.
“Moreover, in a period of national emergency, there are constitutional and statutory provisions that can be interpreted and applied to meet national challenges and exigencies.
“The commission will therefore appreciate if national attention is focused on the containment of a virus that threatens our collective existence and the sovereign right of voters to vote in any election.
“The position of the commission is that the Edo and Ondo governorship elections will take place on September 19 and October 10, 2020.
“Moreover, both elections are constitutionally and statutorily circumscribed with adjustable timeframes within the constitutionally and statutorily allowed window.”