COVID-19 Forces INEC To Suspend Regular Activities

Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended regular activities for the time being. 

This is according to a statement by Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.

Mr Okoye stated that the move was in view of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the preventive and containment measures put in place by the Federal and State Governments and in line with the advisory on social distancing from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The INEC spokesman noted that the Commission has taken some extra measures to protect its staff, visitors and the general public.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Nigerians Must Brace Up For Tougher Measures – Lai Mohammed

Some of the measures taken include that, “Effective from Tuesday 24th March 2020, all regular and non-essential activities will be suspended in its headquarters and offices nationwide for 14 days in the first instance.

“The regular quarterly meetings with Stakeholders, namely: Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations, the Media, Security Agencies and all other meetings, have been suspended until such a time when normalcy returns.

“In addition, the Commission will no longer monitor the conventions, congresses, conferences or meetings of political parties until further notice.”

The Commissioner reiterated the Commission’s commitment to openness, consultation and continued communication with its stakeholders and expects all to understand the emergency situation that informed the suspension of contact engagements.

He stated that the health and wellbeing of all INEC staff, officials and the general public are of paramount importance to the Commission.

Mr Okoye, however, noted that notwithstanding the measures outlined, the Commission will continue to meet via non-physical contact channels while communication between the Commission and its stakeholders will remain open.

He emphasized that the new measures taken do not affect the activities for Edo and Ondo governorship elections scheduled for 19th September and 10th October 2020 respectively.

Soonest Nathaniel

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