By Chinenye Festus:-
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mahmood Yakubu has revealed that no winner will be declared in the Ondo and Edo elections coming up later this year if the elections did not go according to the laid down procedures mapped out by the commission and if the election is being disrupted.
Yakubu stated that violent acts mar the smooth running and credibility of election. He disclosed this at a virtual workshop organized by the Centre of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in partnership with Centre for Development (CDD) on Tuesday, June 9.
He said the Commission has adopted a different approach to ensure that elections in these states go smoothly and avoid the violence and bloodshed that was witnessed in Kogi Election.
These were his words: “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?
“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. And this we have told the political parties point-blank; you either behave for the elections to be concluded in a free and fair manner or we do what the law says.
“If we can’t vouch for the credibility of the process, there is no point concluding it and making declaration. That we have committed to. The commission will not endorse fraud and what is clearly outside the minimum standard we have set for the conduct of credible elections anywhere.”