Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Yakubu Mahmoud, has dismissed rumours that the commission would postpone the gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States already billed to hold in September and October respectively.
The commission had slated the elections for Edo on September 19, 2020, and that of Ondo for October 10, 2020.
Mahmood maintained that the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo State will not be postponed.
The Chairman of the commission said this when the National Peace Committee addressed newsmen in Abuja on their efforts to promote peaceful elections.
To buttress his point, Mahmood said the postponement of the Edo elections in 2016, was not entirely the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission but purely, a matter of security concerns raised by the experts.
He said same security concern was communicated to the commission which had to act on the expert counsel of the security agencies.
The Chairman of the commission also cleared the air on the rumoured allegation that the Edo state Resident Electoral Commissioner was a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) maintained that he had no absolute control in the decision to appoint a resident electoral commissioner.
According to Mahmood: “The 2016 postponement is true, but we didn’t cause that. As a Commissioner, we were prepared, but we had a security report and we had to postpone the election.
“Like in 2016, the Commissioner is ready. I don’t foresee any need to postpone the election. We are fully ready and the elections will hold.
“I’ll be in Edo from Saturday and be there till Wednesday. At the end of the day, we will have something good. I’ll return to Abuja and monitor the election from the situation room.”
He insisted that the election will be a free and fair reflection of the will of the people.
Speaking on the Edo election member of the National Peace Commission, Bishop Matthew Kukah, in his remarks, said candidates of various political parties in the race will on Tuesday sign the peace pact binding all parties to a free and fair election.
He said this will be done in the state Capital to be witnessed by the respective supporters of the candidates in the elections.
He pointed out that key traditional rulers and other stakeholders will also be in-ground to witness the ceremony and ensure that all candidates abide by the code of conduct enunciated in the electoral Act.