The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has again postponed conduct of bye-elections in 11 states of the federation.
INEC in a statement issued on Thursday and signed by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, cited security situation in the country.
In apparent reference to the movement for the reform of the Nigeria Police Force and proscription of the Special Anti Robbery Squad tagged EndSARS Protests, hijacked by hoodlums, INEC said its offices and facilities have been vandalised.
It said it would consult with stakeholders before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the bye-elections.
The statement read in part:”The public will recall that the Commission met on 22nd October 2020 with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to deliberate on the 15 outstanding bye-elections in 11 States of the Federation earlier scheduled for 31st October 2020. Due to the security situation in the country at the time, the Commission decided to suspend the bye-elections and meet in two weeks to review its decision.
“The Commission met today, Thursday November 5, 2020 to further review the situation and decided that:
“The Commission suffered extensive damage to and vandalisation of its local government offices and facilities, including the areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold.
“It is important to consult all the critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the bye-elections
“Consequently, the Commission will consult with political parties and civil society organisations on Tuesday 10th November 2020 and then with the media and Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday 11th November 2020. The Commission will thereafter meet again with the Resident Electoral Commissioners on Thursday, 12th November 2020 to decide on a date for the conduct of the bye-elections.
“We appeal to all stakeholders to continue to cooperate with the Commission in its efforts to conduct credible elections under a safe and conducive environment.”