The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has finally scheduled all the pending by-elections across 11 states of the federation for December 5th, 2020.
The decision was reached on Thursday after a meeting of the commission and State Resident Electoral Commissioners Thursday, in Abuja.
The commission had postponed the elections earlier scheduled for October 31st citing poor security situation across the country In the wake of the ENDSARS protest and subsequent destruction that trailed it.
Barrister Festus Okoye, INEC Commissioners and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, who announced the date said that the security situation had improved substantially in all the various constituencies where elections are scheduled.
He said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met today Friday, November 13, 2020 and among other things reviewed the outcome of its quarterly engagements and consultations with critical stakeholders in the electoral process, and further reviewed the security situation and other challenges regarding the 15 pending byelection.
“The Commission met again on Thursday, 5th November 2020 and reviewed the situation. It noted among other things the extensive damage to and vandalization of its local government offices and facilities, which affected some areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold. Consequently, the Commission decided to consult critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the bye-elections.
“The Commission consulted with Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations on Tuesday 10th November 2020 and with the Media and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
“Based on these consultations, the Commission believes that security in the affected States has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated. Consequently, the Commission has decided to hold all the pending bye-elections on Saturday December 5, 2020…
“We appeal to voters and stakeholders in the States with pending bye-elections to continue to cooperate with the Commission in its efforts to deliver credible elections under a safe environment”.