Despite the coronavirus outbreak in the country and the uncompromising position of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the date for the two gubernatorial elections that will be holding in the country in some months time, a position INEC maintain that the agency must always avoid constitutional crisis that will definitely arise if the elections are being postpone.
With this development, the ruling party in the country; the All Progressives Congress, APC, has now announced Monday, June 22 and Monday, July 20 for its governorship primary elections in Edo and Ondo states.
APC made this known in a notice by its National Organizing Secretary, Emma Ibediro fixed the cost of its nomination and expression of interest forms for N22.5 million cumulatively and a 50% deduction for females and physically challenge aspirants.
It will be recalled that the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye in a statement on Tuesday night said the commission had met earlier in the day and deliberated on a wide range of issues including the conduct of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, as well as the nine outstanding bye-elections in different parts of the country.
He said; “The Commission deliberated extensively on a Policy Framework that will guide its operations, activities and engagements with critical stakeholders in view of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact on the electoral process in Nigeria. Based on this, the Commission will on Thursday 21st May 2020 issue a Policy Framework for engagement with stakeholders, the conduct of the two ends of tenure governorship elections, outstanding bye-elections and future electoral activities.
“The Commission reiterated its commitment to conduct the Edo and Ondo governorship elections on 19th September and 10th October 2020 as contained in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released on 6th February 2020.
“We reassure Nigerians of our resolve and determination to provide the requisite guidance, innovation and leadership in conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission is committed to fulfilling its constitutional responsibility of conducting elections but without jeopardizing the health and wellbeing of citizens, stakeholders or its valued staff.
“The Commission will accelerate consultations and engagements with political parties, civil society organizations, security agencies and health authorities as soon as its Policy Framework is finalized this week.
“We again urge everyone to remain safe and healthy by complying with all the guidelines and protocols issued by the health authorities”, said.