According to the commission, “It will flag off robust engagements with its critical stakeholders to present the policy document in view of the end of tenure governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states scheduled for September 19, 2020 and October 10, 2020 respectively.”
A statement by the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, after its meeting on Thursday night, the commission would, however, put a premium on public safety and mitigation of health risks from COVID-19.
“The general purpose of the Policy is to enable officials and staff of the Commission to understand and respond adequately to the challenges of conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide a guide for engagement with stakeholders as they prepare for elections.
“The clean copy of the policy document, which will be released on Monday 25th May 2020, covers health and legal issues, election planning and operations, election day and post-election activities, voter registration, political parties, election observation, electoral security and deployment of technology,” the statement said.
The statement added that the general purpose of the policy was to enable officials and staff of the commission to understand and respond adequately to the challenges of conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide a guide for engagement with stakeholders as they prepare for elections.
It also stated that the commission would meet with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Saturday May 30, 2020; political parties on Monday, June 1, 2020, while the civil society groups will meet on June 2, 2020, followed by the media on June 3, 2020.
In addition to the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, the statement also said, “the Commission is planning for nine (9) bye-elections across seven (7) states, namely: Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Imo North Senatorial District, Plateau South Senatorial District and Cross River North Senatorial District.
“Others bye elections are Nganzai State Constituency, Borno State, Bayo State Constituency, Borno state, Nasarawa Central State Constituency, Nasarawa Stateand Bakori State Constituency, Katsina state.”
The commission further stated that the provisions of the policy on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic shall also apply to the conduct of these elections, urging all Nigerians to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols issued by the health authorities.