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Governorship Election: There May Be State Of Emergency In Edo – INEC

INEC Fixes Date For Lagos, Imo, Plateau, Bayelsa Senatorial Bye-Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Friday warned that the political tension brewing in Edo State ahead of the governorship election in the state may lead to a declaration of a state of emergency if not attended to.

The warning was stated by the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, during a discussion with heads of media organisations in Benin.

The INEC Commissioner said the electoral body is ready for the September 19 election but pleaded with leaderships of the political parties and their supporters to sheath their swords and maintain the peace for a hitch-free poll.

He called on political parties to conduct their campaigns without violence and breakdown of law and order.

According to him, the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic has created an unusual electoral atmosphere never experienced before.

We are aware that INEC has never conducted elections under a pandemic situation.”

“Therefore, this pandemic will make us evolve new strategies for electoral officials, ad-hoc staff, security agencies, voters, and stakeholders.”

“We don’t want anybody to jeopardise their health during the exercise and the commission will continue to fine-tune the electoral process within the ambit of the Constitution.”

“We have advised political parties not to play with end-of-tenure elections because anything that disturbs election from being conducted and concluded on or before November 10 will create a constitutional crisis that may lead to a state of emergency,” Okoye said.

He said that should INEC be confronted with such a scenario, it could only be remedied in accordance with either Section 180, 191, or 305.

This will warrant the incumbent governor to seek President Muhammadu Buhari’s permission to declare a state of emergency in the state.”

“My advice to all the political gladiators is that they should play by the rules of the game to avoid constitutional crisis arising from the election,” Okoye said

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