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Suspended polls: We’re concerned about lives, not extension of office –INEC

T he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, was concerned about lives of the electorate than who conducts the suspended 15 legislative elections.

 

INEC had last week, postponed the by-elections earlier scheduled on October 31, indefinitely, due to security challenges in the country, and promised to meet in two weeks’ time to review the situation.

 

Yakubu’s tenure ends on November 9, but the commission said the concern is not who conducts the by-elections.

 

Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said in an interview that the consideration was about the lives of the voters in the affected constituencies and not who presides over the by-elections. “Chairman is not the commission. Life must go on. If he is re-appointed, it is good for the commission,” Okoye said.

 

He disclosed that both natural and manmade factors were responsible for the postponement of the  elections.

 

According to him, about six local government areas in Bayelsa State where the by-elections would hold have been flooded. “About 70 per cent of the schools were closed down and voters dislocated from their homes.

 

“In Ibaji in Kogi State, two constituencies were flooded. And in Borno State, one of the local government areas where the byelections will hold is slightly in Boko Haram area,” Okoye explained.

 

He said the commission was faced with the conduct of Edo and Ondo governorship as well as the by-elections and not the extension of office of the Chairman.

 

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