The independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it “will not be teleguided” and will thus continue with Saturday’s Edo state gubernatorial election.
The status of the election was questioned on Wednesday when the department of state services (DSS) and the police advised the commission to “consider the necessity for possible postponement of the election so as to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorists’ threats”.
But the commission issued a press release on Thursday to say it was 97 % prepared for the election, and there was no going back.
“After carefully consideration all the implications and parameters of postponing the Edo governorship election as suggested yesterday by spokespersons of the directorate of State Security (DSS ) and the police, the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has set to go ahead with the conduct of the election as scheduled for Saturday, 10th Sept 2016,” read the statement, issued by Nick Dazang.
“Addressing press men at the Edo State office of the Commission this afternoon, the National Commissioner responsible of voter Education and publicity Committee of INEC, prince Solomon Adedeji Soyebi, who expressed the determination of the Commission to go ahead with the election, disclosed that as at yesterday, the Commission had reached not less than 97% level of preparation for the conduct of the election.
“Except the actual conduct of the election, he explained that the Commission had religiously implemented all the things listed in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the EDO gubernatorial election which it issued in March this year.
“Prince Soyebi stressed that the Commission would not be teleguided and that it would not do anything that may mortgage Nigeria’s democracy.
“He further stressed that the Commission robustly thought of the implications of demobilizing and arrived at the actual fact that it was more expensive to do therefore.”
Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are the frontrunners for the election.
The request of the security agencies had led to strong reactions from the PDP, the opposition party that accused APC of seeking postponement of the election, “having seen the indices of losing the election to the PDP”.
Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, also criticised the possible postponement, adding that “within 2 years of APC government, Nigeria is in both economic and political recession”.