Saturday March 06, 2021 6:11 AM

Edo, Ondo Polls: “We won’t declare election result where voting is disrupted,” INEC warns

Chairman of Independent Nation Electoral Commission, INEC, Mohammud Yakubu has warned that the commission will not declare result where an election is disrupted in the Edo and Ondo governorship polls.

Prof Yakubu stated there would be no point making a declaration in such situation as the commission will not endorse fraud or function outside the minimum standard set for the conduct of credible elections.

Prof Yakubu said, “Where the election is disrupted and the commission cannot vouch for the integrity of the process, we will not go ahead to make any declaration.

“You (political parties, politicians and voters) either behave for the elections to be concluded in a free and fair manner or we do what the law says.

“While elections are disrupted, we should look far beyond the electoral commission.

“I think you put your fingers on the problem, on the political class and the security challenges and that is why we have been engaging with them.”

Addressing challenges the commission might face in conducting an election in a Coronavirus pandemic period, Yakubu, said Nigeria with 10 bye-elections and over 6.2 million voters is determined to ensure democracy is not truncated.

He said proper measures have been put in place to contain the possible spread of COVID-19 among voters and officials.

Listing some of the measures, the INEC Chairman said, machines used for voter authentication will be disinfected, the use of face masks and a two-meter (6 feet) physical distance between voters will be enforced while infrared thermometers will be provided in voting and collation areas.

Prof Yakubu added that adequate security would be put in place during the election while officials participating in the conduct of the election will be properly trained in line with advisories and guideline listed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

According to him, INEC will continue to relate with political parties across the country to ensure a free, credible and fair respective of the pandemic

“Nigeria is one of the most litigated against public institutions in the country. In the last one and the half years over the conduct of the general elections and party primaries, we have been dragged to court over 2000 times and it is counting,” Prof Yakubu said.

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