added. Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the postponement of all the bye-elections scheduled to hold on October 31 in six senatorial districts till further notice.
The INEC arrived at the decision to postpone the by-elections after reviewing the current security issues in the country with its Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC).
The postponement also affected elections for nine state constituencies.
It, however, said that it would review the decision in two weeks time.
A statement that was issued by the National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Mr. Festus Okoye, said that the postponement complied with Section 26 (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
Okoye said: “The commission has decided to postpone the bye-elections in the six senatorial districts and nine state constituencies.
“This decision is in compliance with Section 26 (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), which gives the commission the power to postpone an election if there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date, or that it is impossible to conduct the elections as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies”.
Okoye did not give any new date for the conduct of the elections but explained that the INEC would continue to monitor the situation in all the states and constituencies, consult with relevant stakeholders and meet again in two weeks to review the situation and decide on a feasible date for the elections.
The INEC also appealed for calm and understanding of the stakeholders and voters in the states where elections were scheduled to take place, adding that safety of the voters, election officials and other stakeholders is paramount to the commission.
“We are convinced that the country will emerge from the current challenges stronger while our electoral process will continue to improve,” Okoye said.