The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the time table and schedule of activities for bye-elections across the country.
The commission’s National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said in a statement on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 the bye-elections in 12 constituencies will be conducted on October 31.
He said the decision was reached during a meeting on Tuesday where the commission also reviewed preparations for upcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo, as well as the conduct of the Nasarawa Central State Constituency election last weekend.
Okoye said the elections were previously suspended as a result of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
He said INEC would not be comfortable conducting elections unless it can be done in a safe and conducive environment.
He said the success of last weekend’s Nasarawa bye-election has filled the commission with confidence to now conduct similar ones on October 31 in Bayelsa Central Senatorial District; Bayelsa West Senatorial District; Nganzai State Constituency, Borno State; Bayo State Constituency, Borno State; and Cross River North Senatorial District.
Others are Obudu State Constituency, Cross River State; 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.
“The commission has developed its policy on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, revised its regulations and guidelines, and engaged with health authorities and stakeholders on conducting elections in an environment that guarantees both credibility and public safety,” Okoye said.
INEC will give the notice of election on August 17, and political parties can proceed to conduct primary elections to nominate candidates between August 24 and September 8.
The vacancies in the constituencies were caused by the resignation or death of members, Okoye said.
He noted that there are similar empty seats in Isi-Uzo State Consituency, Enugu State, and Bakori State Constituency, Katsina State, and called on the Speakers of the affected State Assemblies to formally declare the seats as vacant.