Oshiomhole, Mimiko’s successors to be elected Sept 10, Nov 26

Adams Oshiomhole

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the Edo and Ondo states governorship elections for September 10 and November 26 respectively.

INEC Deputy Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Nick Dazang, made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday.

Dazang said the timetable for the elections would soon be made public.

Incumbent Governors Adams Oshiomhole of Edo and Olusegun Mimiko are due to hand over on November 12, 2016 and February 24, 2017 respectively.

“When the timetable for the elections is out, we will commence the processes for budgeting and implementation for the elections,” Dazang said.

Commenting on the conduct of rerun elections so far, Dazang said the exercises had been successful and peaceful except in Kogi Central and Imo State where little challenges were witnessed.

He said: “The rerun elections we have had from January 27 have been peaceful except that challenge we had in Kogi.

“Otherwise, generally it has been peaceful.

“Those of Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba and Niger States were peaceful.

“The only place we had challenges was Kogi Central – Adavi Local Government – where our office was burnt down before the election.

“Fortunately, that did not affect the election in the area because by that time we had not taken the sensitive materials to the office.

“In one of the wards in the same senatorial district, some hoodlums confiscated the result sheet and tore it.

“That was why as at that time we were unable to make a return of the election.

“But fortunately, we fell back on the duplicates.

“Based on that, we were able to declare a winner.”

Dazang said in Imo State, the commission suspended one senatorial and three state House of Assembly elections based on security advice.

He said people in the state were demonstrating and making all sorts of allegations against INEC staff but investigation by the commission revealed that the allegations were baseless.

He said: “They just wanted to make use of that to stop the elections.

“So they started demonstrating.

“Given that, the commission suspended the re-run election in the state indefinitely, based on advice from the security agencies.”

Dazang added that the commission was preparing to conduct the remaining elections in other states in a free, fair and credible manner.

He said: “The major one will be that of Rivers, on March 19, where we have three senatorial districts, one Federal Constituency and House of Assembly elections.

“Already the commission has identified electoral officers that are going to conduct the elections and they have reported at the state capital, Port-Harcourt, for training.”

Dazang said after their training, the personnel would train other workers that would be participating in the conduct of the elections in the state.

He urged all stakeholders to collaborate with the commission in ensuring the elections were peaceful.