The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it is determined not to shift the Edo State Governorship election from the schedule September 19.
INEC Commissioner for Edo and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr Festus Okoye said that shifting it would create a constitutional lockjam that would be difficult to resolve.
Okoye during a workshop organized in Benin City for journalists in Edo State on ‘Election Process and Procedure’ said that the options available for the shift in date are not palatable.
He disclosed that by the provisions of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution (as amended), INEC must conclude Edo governoship election on or before October 13.
He said that the choice of September 19 for the election was to give room for another 21 days for a second election should circumstances warrant, in line with the Electoral Act (as amended).
According to him, “INEC is determined, in the interest of democracy, Edo people, our public image and our international image to go ahead” with the conduct of the election by putting measures in place to conduct the election September 19.
He said that the Edo and Ondo guber elections are being conducted under a difficult circumstance and therefore tasked all political parties and other critical stakeholders to see the election as a national project that must be executed in strict compliance with all rules and safety protocols.
In conducting the Ondo and Edo elections and all the 15 pending bye-elections, he said the commission would not compromise the safety and well-being of its staff.