By Ayo Kehinde
Coronavirus pandemic or not, Edo and Ondo states have got a date for their governorship elections later in the year. Edo would hold on September 19, while Ondo has an appointment with October 10, courtesy of the the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,
In a statement on Tuesday, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the Commission will issue policy framework for engagement of stakeholders on Thursday.
He said “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met today Tuesday 19th May 2020 and deliberated on a wide range of issues including the conduct of the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections, as well as the 9 outstanding bye elections in different parts of the country.
“The Commission deliberated extensively on a Policy Framework that will guide its operations, activities and engagements with critical stakeholders in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the electoral process in Nigeria.
“Based on this, the Commission will on Thursday 21st May 2020 issue a Policy Framework for engagement with stakeholders, the conduct of the two end of tenure governorship elections, outstanding bye elections and future electoral activities”.
It added: “The Commission reiterated its commitment to conduct the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections on 19th September and 10th October 2020 as contained in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released on 6th February 2020.
“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 jeopardizing the health and wellbeing of citizens, stakeholders or its valued staff.
“The Commission will accelerate consultations and engagements with political parties, civil society organizations, security agencies and health authorities as soon as its Policy Framework is finalised this week”.