INEC Officials

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Edo and Ondo States governorship elections for September 10 and November 26 respectively.

INEC’s Deputy Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Nick Dazang, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Abuja thursday.

He said the timetable for the elections would soon be made public.
“When the timetable for the elections is out, we will commence the processes for budgeting and implementation for the elections,’’ Dazang said.

Speaking on the rerun elections conducted so far, Dazang said they were successful and peaceful except in Kogi Central and Imo State where little challenges were witnessed.

“The rerun elections we have had from January 27 have been peaceful except the challenge we had in Kogi, otherwise, generally, it has been peaceful. Those of Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba and Niger States were peaceful.

The only place we had challenges was Kogi Central – Adavi Local Government Area where our office was burnt down before the election. Fortunately, that did not affect the election in the area because by that time we had not taken the sensitive materials to the office.

“In one of the wards in the same senatorial district, some hoodlums confiscated the result sheet and tore it. That was why as at that time we were unable to make a return of the election. But fortunately, we fell back on the duplicates, based on that, we were able to declare a winner,” he said.

On the reason for postponement of the elections in Imo State, Dazang said the commission suspended one senatorial and three state house of assembly elections based on security advice.

He said people in the state were demonstrating and making all sorts of allegations against INEC staff but investigation by the commission revealed that the allegations were baseless.

“They just wanted to make use of that to stop the elections. So they started demonstrating given that the commission suspended the rerun election in the state indefinitely, based on advice from the security agencies.,” he noted.

Dazang added that the commission was preparing to conduct the remaining elections in other states in a free, fair and credible manner.

“The major one will be that of Rivers State, on March 19, where we have three senatorial districts, one federal constituency and House of Assembly elections. Already the commission has identified electoral officers who are going to conduct the elections and they have reported at the state capital, Port-Harcourt, for training,” he said.