Thursday, 8 September 2016

Why we are yet to react to proposal to postpone Edo election — INEC

INEC - We are yet to react to Edo election

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said it would only react to a proposal by the Nigeria Police and the State Security Service calling for the postponement of the Edo governorship election after a meeting of its top officials in Benin.

Nick Dazang, a spokesperson for the commission said top officials of the electoral body were busy all day at a stakeholders meeting held in Benin, the Edo State capital, with major players in the election.

“It was after we came out of the stakeholders meeting that we became aware of the proposal to move the election,” Mr. Dazang said. “So the commission simply went into the meeting immediately at the same venue where the stakeholders meeting held.

“It is only after that meeting that we will react.”

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the National Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu; National Commissioners Tayo Soyebi, Amina Bala-Zakari and Mohammed Lecky as well as some resident electoral commissioners are at the meeting holding at Sio Event Centre, GRA, Benin.

At the stakeholders meeting held earlier today, top police and SSS officials were in attendance and participants said they did not present any proposal for the postponement of the election.

The police and the SSS had in a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon advised INEC to move the election, saying credible intelligence available to it “indicate plans by insurgent/extremist elements to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12th and 13th September, 2016.”

The agencies said Edo State is among states earmarked for the planned attacks.

“It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats,” the agencies said.