Home News INEC Insists on Saturday’s Election in Edo

INEC Insists on Saturday’s Election in Edo

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By Ibidapo Balogun

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said Saturday’s governorship election will hold in Edo State as scheduled.

Both the Department of Security Services and the police are seeking a postponement of the election, saying the poll should not hold as Boko Haram elements are planning to launch attacks during the election.

INEC

But addressing a press conference on Wednesday afternoor in Benin-City, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Publicity, Chief Solomon Adedeji Soyebi, said the commission was ready for the election and was going ahead.

He said the men and materials to be deployed in conducting the election were already in place.

Soyebi said both DSS and police were yet to inform INEC of their advice.

Addressing journalists at a joint press briefing by the DSS and Police earlier on Wednesday, the spokesperson of the police, Dan Awunah, had said threats had been issued by some Boko Haram elements to attack residents during the election.

Awunah said: “It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC, which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country, to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats.”

Here is the full text of the press statement signed by Awunah and Garba Abdullahi of the DSS:

“The Nigeria Police and Department of State Services, wish to inform the general public that credible intelligence availed the agencies indicate plans by insurgent/extremist elements to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12th and 13th September, 2016. Edo State, is amongst the States being earmarked for these planned attacks by the extremist elements.

“The public would recall that similar threats were issued during the May Labour Day and Democracy Day celebrations as well as the Ed-el-fitr holidays in July, 2016. However, the security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election is important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to remain vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.

“It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats.

“While the Police/DSS remain mindful of the inconveniences this request may cause the various political stakeholders, it is our strong resolve that security agencies need not be distracted from ensuring a peaceful and secured Nigeria now and always.

“Members of the public are hereby assured that the security agencies will continue to remain focused and committed and are being enjoined to remain vigilant. The attention of the Security Agencies should be drawn to any observed unusual movements or actions by groups or individuals in their neighbourhoods”.

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