The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu has warned politicians in Edo and Ondo states against disrupting the elections, saying the commission would not make returns in such a situation.
Professor Yakubu gave the warning at a virtual roundtable on Democracy and Elections in West Africa, organized by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies CSIS, Washington DC in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, Nigeria.
While the election in Edo would hold on September 19, that of Ondo would hold on October 20, but the INEC boss said if the processes were disrupted, no returns would be made.
“Where the election is disrupted and the Commission cannot vouch for the integrity of the process, we will not go ahead to make any declaration. You (political parties, politicians and voters) either behave for the elections to be concluded in a free and fair manner or we do what the law says.
“While elections are disrupted, we should look far beyond the electoral commission. I think you put your fingers on the problem, on the political class and the security challenges. And that is why we have been engaging with them.
“Yesterday, I had a meeting with the National Security Adviser, we are meeting with all the security agencies. But what pro-active measure is the Commission going to take to ensure that if there is a replay of what happened in Bayelsa and Kogi, we will protect the integrity of the process?”, he queried.
On the challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic to the Commission, Yakubu said; “Our electoral and democratic process cannot be suspended on account of the COVID19 pandemic”.