The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says all the 15 pending bye-elections in the 11 states will be conducted on Saturday, December 5, 2020.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, made the announcement in a statement on Friday.
He explained that the decision to conduct the polls on the set date was taken at the commission’s meeting which held at its headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The meeting was convened to review the outcome of INEC’s quarterly engagements and consultations with critical stakeholders in the electoral process and to further review the security situation and other challenges regarding the pending bye-elections.
“The Commission acknowledges the support, understanding, and cooperation of political parties, the security agencies, the media, civil society organisations and the general public as it considers the scheduling of the bye-elections and in its overall efforts to reposition the electoral process and give meaning and value to the votes of the people.
“We appeal to voters and stakeholders in the States with pending bye-elections to continue to cooperate with the commission in its efforts to deliver credible elections under a safe environment,” the statement said.
According to Okoye, INEC met with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on October 22 to deliberate on the bye-elections earlier scheduled to hold on October 31 but postponed on account of the security situation and other environmental challenges in the country.
He stated that the Commission met again on Thursday last week and reviewed the situation and noted the extensive damage to and vandalisation of its local government offices and facilities, which affected some areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold.
The INEC spokesman explained that the commission later decided to consult critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the bye-elections.
He added that the commission consulted with political parties and civil society organizations on Tuesday, as well as the media and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday, before finally meeting with all RECs on Thursday.
“Based on these consultations, the Commission believes that security in the affected States has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated.
“Consequently, the Commission has decided to hold all the pending bye-elections on Saturday, December 5, 2020,” he said.
The areas where the bye-elections will hold include Bayelsa Central senatorial district, Bayelsa West senatorial district, Nganzai State Constituency in Borno, Bayo State Constituency in Borno, and Cross River North senatorial district.
Others are Obudu State Constituency in Cross River, Imo North senatorial district, Lagos East senatorial district, Kosofe II State Constituency in Lagos, Plateau South senatorial district, Bakura State Constituency in Zamfara, and Ibaji State Constituency in Kogi. (Channels)