INEC says it is determined to conduct the governorship elections in a safe manner.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will not affect elections scheduled to take place later this year.
The commission had in February 2020 scheduled the Edo governorship election for September 19, and the Ondo governorship election for October 10.
There are also nine other outstanding bye elections scheduled to take place in different parts of the country.
However, COVID-19 has since infected over 5 million people across the world, and crippled social and economic activities around the world.
Even though over 6,000 people have been infected in Nigeria with nearly 200 dead, as of May 18, INEC announced in a statement on Tuesday, May 19, that it is determined to conduct the elections in a safe manner.
“We reassure Nigerians of our resolve and determination to provide the requisite guidance, innovation, and leadership in conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The commission is committed to fulfilling its constitutional responsibility of conducting elections but without jeopardising the health and wellbeing of citizens, stakeholders, or its valued staff,” the statement read.
The commission’s spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said officials met on Tuesday to deliberate extensively on a policy framework to guide its operations, activities, and engagements with critical stakeholders in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the electoral process in the country.
He said the commission will on Thursday, May 21 issue a policy framework for engagement with stakeholders, the conduct of the already scheduled elections, and future electoral activities.
Okoye said INEC will accelerate consultations and engagements with political parties, civil society organisations, security agencies, and health authorities as soon as its policy framework is finalised this week.
Nigeria has recorded coronavirus cases in 34 states, including Edo and Ondo, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
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