Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has stated that it is committed to concluding the suspended elections in Rivers, Imo, Kogi and Kano states which were disrupted by violence not later than 31st July, 2016.
According to the Commission, all necessary consultations and activities leading to the elections were concluded timeously and that conditions were conducive enough for the conduct of the elections.
In a press statement issued and signed by the Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, the Commission emphasized that, “in spite of this commitment, it would not return to conduct elections or hesitate to further postpone or discontinue the suspended elections in any area where there was imminent threat to lives or to peace or security, especially where such threats were likely to lead to breakdown of law and order”.
In the same vein, the Commission has scheduled the Continous Voter Registration, CVR, exercise for Edo and Ondo States from Wednesday, 22nd June to Sunday, 26th June 2016. However, Monday, 27th June 2016 has been fixed as the conclusion of Claims and Objectives.
The CVR exercise is to precede the two governorship elections for Edo and Ondo, scheduled for Saturday, 10th September and Saturday, 26th November 2016 respectively.
Section 30(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that the Commission shall give the notice of a governorship election not later than ninety (90) days before the election.
Also, in another different statement made available to Nigerian Pilot, the commission has conducted 127 elections in the last six months. According to the Commission’s Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, INEC has since the 2015 general elections, conducted 50 re-run elections in 16 states in obedience to court orders. Seven bye-elections, occasioned by death or resignation have also been conducted in five states, while two more elections were organised at the weekend in Kwara and Nasarawa states, due to the death of two elected individuals in the Kwara State House of Assembly and the Federal House of Representatives respectively.
The Chairman while speaking at a retreat organized by the Federal House of Representatives’ Committee on Electoral and Political Parties Matters in Abuja at the weekend, also said INEC did conduct three end-of- tenure elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, as well.
He said: “In the case of the FCT, it was one election, but conducted in 68 different constituencies – six council chairmen and 62 councillors. In addition, the courts have so far upturned 23 constituency elections – House of Representatives and State Assemblies – and ordered the commission to withdraw certificates from candidates adjudged not to be validly elected.
However, Professor Yakubu reiterated the Commission’s resolve to conduct transparent, free and fair elections in the country. But he insisted that the Commission would never conclude any election for its own sake. He explained that many of the challenges slowing INEC down were due to the culture of “do-or-die politics.”

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