Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Worried by the threats of violence in the upcoming governorship election in Edo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to hold an emergency meeting today to discuss the matter.
INEC’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this yesterday, expressed worries over the drums of war among the political parties involved in the state governorship election.
Speaking to journalists after meeting with stakeholders in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly election in Nasarawa, Yakubu said the commission will hold an emergency meeting of the Election Management Body (EMB) today to discuss the threats of violence.
“We are worried about the threats of violence and luckily the Election Management Board will meet tomorrow (today) over this and we may likely summon the political parties campaign councils over this,” he said.
Yakubu said that Saturday’s State House of Assembly election in Nasarawa State would be used as a test to see the level of preparations by the commission to implement COVID-19 election protocols it had developed for use in the Edo and Ondo States’ governorship elections.
The INEC chairman added that voters without a face mask would not be allowed to vote.
He urged voters to avoid wearing branded face masks as such voters would not be allowed to vote.
The INEC chairman urged the voters to lower their face masks for ease of identification by approved officers.
After inspecting voting materials for the state constituency election, Yakubu said that the Saturday election is going to be the first election to be conducted by INEC within the COVID-19 era.
“We are here to look at the level of preparations for the Nasarawa House of Assembly State Constituency election. This election would be a test run for our level of preparations for the Edo and Ondo States governorship elections.
“We are here to see how prepared that the commission is in compliance with the representative of the Presidential Task Force on the COVID -19. This election is the first election to be conducted by INEC since the outbreak of the pandemic,” the INEC chairman said.
He also said the election will take place in seven wards between the two candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The INEC chairman said the election will take place in 44 polling stations and few voting points.
By the INEC data distributed later, staff required for the election are 673, while the number of registered voters is 71,919 in 44 polling units.
The INEC chairman also visited the Emir of Nasarawa, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril.
At the palace, Yakubu assured the traditional ruler that the commission will conduct a transparent and fair election.
In his response, the Emir of Nasarawa, who was a former minister, commended the INEC chairman for his stewardship of the affairs of the commission.
He assured the INEC chairman that history will judge him favourably for his efforts to strengthen democracy in Nigeria.