The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Sept. 19 and Oct. 10 for Edo and Ondo state governorship election respectively.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who announced this at a news conference in Abuja said that the tenure of the governor of Edo would end on Nov. 12, while the tenure of his Ondo State counterpart will end on Feb. 24, 2021.
“Pursuant to the provisions of Section 178(2) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 25(8) of the Electoral Act 2010, elections cannot hold earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of office of an incumbent governor.
“Accordingly, the Commission has fixed Saturday Sept. 19 as the date for the Governorship Election in Edo and Saturday Oct. 10, for Ondo State.
“Detailed Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the two election will be published on our website and social media platforms shortly,”Yakubu said.
He added that similarly, INEC was conducting bye-election in three constituencies as a result of the deaths of some serving members of the National and State Houses of Assembly.
“The Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives has declared vacancy in Magama/Rijau Federal Constituency of Niger State.
“Similarly, the Honourable Speaker of the Kwara House of Assembly has declared a vacancy in Patigi State Constituency, while the Speaker of the Sokoto State House of Assembly has also declared the Kebbe State Constituency vacant.
“The bye-election will hold simultaneously in the three States of the Federation on Saturday March 14. Again, the detailed Timetable and Schedule of Activities will be published on our website and social media platforms shortly.’’
Yakubu, however, reiterated the resolve of INEC to stand firm against acts capable of disrupting the election.
“As we are all aware, election is a process. However, the process does not begin and end with election day activities. The conduct of party primaries, nomination of candidates, electioneering campaigns and the submission of the list of polling agents are also essential to the electoral process.
“Above all, good behaviour by all officials and actors involved is crucial for success,” he said.
Yakubu warned all parties and candidates against acts that could constitute violence during party primaries and electioneering campaigns.
He further warned that snatching of election materials or deployment of thugs against INEC officials, observers, the media and unarmed security personnel at polling units were acts punishable under our electoral laws.
“Already, the political atmosphere in a particular state is charged. No one should regard the release of the timetable for the election as a signal to further escalate tension or a call to commence the recruitment of thugs and arming of thugs and hoodlums,” he said.