INEC warns political tension in Edo may lead to state of emergency

INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that the fierce political tension brewing in Edo ahead of the September 19 governorship poll may lead to a declaration of a state of emergency in the state, if not carefully managed.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, gave the warning in an interaction with heads of media organisations in Benin.

Okoye said the commission was ready for the Edo election but pleaded  with leaderships of the political parties and their supporters to sheath their swords and maintain the peace for a hitchfree poll.

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He warned the political gladiators to conduct their campaigns within the ambit of the law.

“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.

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“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,” Okoye said.

“This will warrant the incumbent governor to seek President Muhammadu Buhari’s permission to declare a state of emergency in the state.

“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,” Okoye said.

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