As residents of Edo State prepare to go to the polls in the September 19 governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has sent a strong warning to politicians in the state to avoid actions that may lead to a state of emergency.
He appealed to political parties, their leaders and well wishers to ensure the maintain peace and order in order to allow for elections to be conducted smoothly in the state.
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye, said this during an interaction with media heads in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
He said, “We are aware that INEC has never conducted elections under a pandemic situation.
“Therefore, this pandemic will make us evolve new strategies for electoral officials, adhoc staff, security agencies, voters and stakeholders.
“We don’t want anybody to jeopardise their health during the exercise and the commission will continue to fine tune the electoral process within the ambit of the Constitution.
“We have advised political parties not to play with end-of-tenure elections because anything that disturbs election from being conducted and concluded on or before November 10 will create constitutional crisis that may lead to a state of emergency.
“This will warrant the incumbent governor to seek President Muhammadu Buhari’s permission to declare a state of emergency in the state”, if such circumstances arise, he explained.
“My advice to all the political gladiators is that they should play by the rules of the game to avoid constitutional crisis arising from the election”.