• Monday, June 17, 2024
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INEC postpones re-run legislative polls in Rivers


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed the re-run legislative elections in Rivers State, earlier scheduled for July 30.

While the Commission did not disclose a new date, it noted that it was compelled to postpone the re-run election a second time because of the reports of violence, maiming and fatalities which caused the initial postponement of the polls in March.

INEC had earlier vowed not to return to conduct rerun polls due to violence that trailed the process.

However, following complaints from various quarters, the Commission last month, met with political parties, civil society organisations and other stakeholders in Abuja and fixed June 30 as new date for the conclusion of the poll.

But according to a statement by the Secretary to INEC Augusta Ogakwu, the Commission said “as a responsible organisation and conscious of the violence, maiming and fatalities which accompanied the previous election in March as well as developments in the state since then, the Commission cannot ignore such credible reports.

“In the circumstances, therefore, it is compelled to further postpone the rerun legislative elections in Rivers State as one of the principal conditions earlier stipulated for the return of the state for the conclusion of the election has, regrettably, not been met.”

The commission noted that it is conscious of the efforts by respected individuals, organisations and leaders to douse tension and ensure a conducive atmosphere for elections to hold.

Justifying its decision to postpone the polls, INEC said it has a responsibility to also ensure that voters, electoral personnel, observers and other stakeholders are not exposed to undue threats to their lives.

“If the goal of political contests is to serve the people, then there is no greater service than ensuring, at all costs, the preservation of the lives of the people whom such services would be rendered,” the statement emphasised.