Onyekachi Eze, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the suspended legislative bye-elections to hold in 11 states in 15 constituencies on December 5.
The elections were earlier scheduled on October 31 but were suspended indefinitely due to security challenges occasioned by the #EndSARS protests.
INEC, in a statement by Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye said it has sufficient evidence that security situations in the affected states have improved to warrant the conduct of the suspended polls.
Okoye noted that the commission held series of meetings with election stakeholders this week, adding that it was based on the outcome of the meetings that a date was fixed for the bye-elections.
“The commission consulted with political parties and civil society organisations on Tuesday 10th November 2020 and with the media and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday 11th November 2020. Finally, it met with all Resident Electoral Commissioners on Thursday, 12th November 2020.
“Based on these consultations, the commission believes that security in the affected states has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated.
“Consequently, the commission has decided to hold all the pending bye-elections on Saturday December 5, 2020,” the National Commissioner stated.
He acknowledged INEC’s the support, understanding and cooperation of critical election stakeholders and the general public “as it considers the scheduling of the bye-elections and in its overall efforts to reposition the electoral process and give meaning and value to the votes of the people.
“We appeal to voters and stakeholders in the states with pending bye-elections to continue to cooperate with the commission in its efforts to deliver credible elections under a safe environment.”