The Independent National Electoral Commission (INCE) has predicted avoidable constitutional crisis if the elections scheduled for this year are postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Apart from the Edo and Ondo States elections scheduled for September 19 and October 10, 2020, respectively, the commission would be conducting 10 other elections, including five Senatorial and four State Assembly bye-elections spread across nine states of the federation.
INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, who spoke today, June 3 on the modalities for voter education and publicity activities during a virtual meeting with the media, said: “in such circumstances and situations, some countries and nations may buckle, throw in the towel in defeat and are completely overwhelmed. Sometimes, such situations throw up new players and spur creativity and innovation that accelerates development.
“The commission is therefore determined to be part and indeed lead the process of innovation and creativity in the electoral process rather than throw in the towel and postpone all elections to an indeterminate period.
“Throwing in the towel in our constitutional circumstances may do violence to the constitution and wittingly or unwittingly throw the country into avoidable constitutional crisis.
“The commission is therefore determined to proceed with the two end of tenure governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States and the ten Senatorial and State Assembly elections with cautious optimistic bearing in mind that the health and safety of the people will be crucial determinants of the success or otherwise of the elections.
“We are mindful of the fact that we are at war with an “unseen enemy. We are aware of the fact that some of our compatriots have lost their lives on account of COVID – 19 pandemic. We are aware that so many people are in isolation and quarantine centres. We are aware that some of our people are isolated and quarantined at home.”
Source: The Punch