Lagos, Bayelsa, Other Bye-elections Hold December 5

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Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday announced that bye-elections into vacant National and States ‘ Assembly would hold December 5.

In a statement by the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Festus Okoye, he said that the decision was after series of consultations where it reviewed its quarterly engagements and consultations with critical stakeholders in the electoral process.
The commission said that it further reviewed the security situation and other challenges regarding the 15 pending bye-elections in 11 states.

He said that INEC met on 22nd October 2020 with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to deliberate on the said bye-elections earlier scheduled to hold on October 31, 2020 but postponed on account of the security situation and other environmental challenges in the country.

The commission met again on Thursday, 5th November 2020 and reviewed the situation and it noted among other things the extensive damage to and vandalisation of its local government offices and facilities, which affected some areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold.
Okoye said INEC decided to consult critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the bye-elections.

According to him, the commission consulted with political parties and civil society organisations on Tuesday 10th November 2020 and with the media and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday 11th November 2020.
Okoye said: “Based on these consultations, the Commission believes that security in the affected States has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated.

“Consequently, the Commission has decided to hold all the pending bye-elections on Saturday December 5, 2020.”
He said that INEC acknowledged the support, understanding and cooperation of political parties, the security agencies, the media civil society organisations and the general public as it considers the scheduling of the bye-elections and in its overall efforts to reposition the electoral process and give meaning and value to the votes of the people.

Okoye further stated that the commission appealed to voters and stakeholders in the states with pending bye-elections to continue to cooperate with the INEC in its efforts to deliver credible elections under a safe environment.

The outstanding bye-elecrions will take place in Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Nganzai State Constituency, Borno State, Bayo State Constituency, Borno State, Cross River North Senatorial District and Obudu State Constituency, Cross River State.

Others are: Imo North Senatorial District, Lagos East Senatorial District, Kosofe II State Constituency, Lagos State, Plateau South Senatorial District, Bakura State Constituency, Zamfara State and Ibaji State Constituency, Kogi State.