There are indications that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), may change the date of Ondo and Edo states governorship elections this year.
The Commission has said that it is set to release fresh modalities for the conduct of the Edo and Ondo governorship election despite the Coronavirus threat.
The commission however disclosed that it will liaise with health authorities and security agencies on resumption of activities in the two states ahead of the elections scheduled for September 19 and October 10.
Rising from a stakeholders meeting, Thursday, the Commission, said that it will work out modalities for the ramping up of activities in two of the states as soon as possible.
It however kept mum on the Senatorial bye-elections in Bayelsa and Imo states, as well as other State House of Assembly.
According to a statement issued at the end if the meeting by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, the Commission will resume engagement with political parties, Civil Society Groups and Organizations, the media and other stakeholders in relation to the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections.
He stated that the “modalities for these engagements will be worked out and considered at its next meeting on May 14, 2020”.
The statement reads in part, “the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met on Thursday 7th May 2020 and deliberated on the step by step protocol for the resumption of activities and operations as well as preparations for the conduct of the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections and other pending Senatorial and State Assembly bye elections”.
Meanwhile, at the end of the meeting, according to the statement, “the Commission resolved to carry out comprehensive decontamination of its National Headquarters, annex at Blantyre Street, the Electoral Institute and its Area 10 office housing its staff clinic.
“To follow the Federal Government Guidelines on resumption protocols and procedure by providing infrared thermometers, soap and water at entrances and installing hand sanitizer dispensers at strategic points in the Commission.
“To train its staff, particularly the cleaners and office assistants on cleaning protocols and strict compliance with Federal Government Guidelines as well as its own specific protocols for resumption.
“To issue comprehensive Guidelines for the first phase of its resumption in compliance with the directives of the Federal Government and health authorities. These guidelines will be posted on its notice boards and uploaded on the website of the Commission on Monday May 11, 2020.
“That Directors and other designated Staff of the various Departments will resume at the National Headquarters on Wednesday May 13, 2020 after the decontamination of the premises and provision of necessary amenities as outlined earlier in this statement”.
The Commission however pegged the age of Staff expected to return to work at 57, adding that, “only staff below 58 years of age with no serious underlying health issues will resume, while pregnant women, nursing mothers and all other staff with underlying health conditions should remain at home for the time being”.