Nigeria: #EndSARS Protest - INEC Mulls Postponement of 15 By-Elections

22 October 2020

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is considering the postponement of 15 by-elections in 11 states slated for October 31, this year over the lingering #EndSARS protests in the country.

The electoral body had in August fixed October 31 for the conduct of by-elections to fill the vacancies arising from the deaths and resignation of lawmakers at both federal and state parliaments.

The affected constituencies are Bayelsa Central Senatorial District; Bayelsa West Senatorial District; Nganzai State Constituency, Borno State; Bayo State Constituency, Borno State; Cross River North Senatorial District; and Obudu State Constituency, Cross River State.

Others are Imo North Senatorial District; Lagos East Senatorial District; Kosofe II State Constituency, Lagos State; Plateau South Senatorial District; Bakura State Constituency, Zamfara State; Ibaji State Constituency, Kogi State; Isi-Uzo State Constituency, Enugu State and Bakori State Constituency, Katsina State.

INEC's National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, yesterday said the "commission was not oblivious of the current mood of the nation, the security situation, natural disasters and other emergencies reported in parts of the country."

He said the supplementary elections consist of six senatorial and nine state house of assembly seats.

Okoye said the vacancies were due to death and resignation of members. He said the commission has been engaged in meticulous preparations for the by-elections for several weeks in its determination to continue to deliver free, fair, credible and safe elections for Nigerians.

He said the commission will tomorrow, Thursday, October 22, hold a meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to evaluate the situation in the states and constituencies where by-elections have been scheduled.

He said the outcome of the meeting will be communicated to the public.

Contacted, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, simply said, "INEC has the constitutional responsibility of fixing date for elections."

Similarly, the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, told our correspondent in a telephone chat yesterday that INEC should take its decision and communicate political parties accordingly.

"INEC is the body conducting the election. INEC is setting the exams, while we are writing it. So, INEC should communicate to us when it is convenient for them, to avoid electoral crisis, "the APC said.

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