The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has raised the alarm about the possibility of having an “acrimonious” governorship election in Edo and Ondo states, urging security operatives in the country to be proactive in nipping it in the bud.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu gave the charge Friday in Abuja during the first virtual meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security ICCES. Yakubu also advocated a supplementary code of conduct for all security operatives participating in the conduct of elections in a Covid-19 Pandemic era.
“Party primaries for the nomination of candidates for the Edo Governorship election have commenced. As of yesterday, 15 out of the 18 registered political parties had invited the Commission to monitor their primaries.
The process for Ondo State is scheduled for 2nd to 25th July 2020. “As you are aware, the conduct of primaries by political parties tends to be very acrimonious. The acrimony is carried forward into the electioneering campaigns and Election Day activities.
Already, there are warning signals. The security agencies need to act proactively. Early engagement with political parties and aspirants is necessary in order to create the atmosphere for peaceful primaries and consequently, peaceful elections”.
According to Yakubu, INEC’s policy on conducting elections under the current pandemic is anchored on the guidelines issued by the Presidential Task Force PTF based on the advisory by health authorities.
“The guidelines provide for measures to protect the electoral process and the people involved, ranging from the election officials, observers, the media and, above all, the voters. Doing so will also increase public confidence and consequently enhance the credibility of the electoral process. To do so effectively, there is need to review the security architecture in the light of the global pandemic and come up with clear guidelines as well as supplementary code of conduct for security personnel on election duty”, he stated.
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