The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved its “Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of Covid-19 Pandemic.”
According to the Commission, notwithstanding the danger posed by Covid-19 pandemic, it is committed to conducting all elections that are due within the extant legal framework.
The Commission, therefore, stated that, “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 19th September 2020 and 10th October 2020, respectively.”
A statement by the national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education, Mr. Festus Okoye, indicated that the Commission would put a premium on public safety and mitigation of health risks from Covid-19, assuring citizens of their safety while participating as voters, candidates, and officials.
It read in part, “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met today, May 21, 2020, and approved its “Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of Covid-19 Pandemic.”
“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, May 25, 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.”
It, therefore, 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 would meet on June 2, 2020; followed by the media on June 2, 2020.
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.”