The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has threatened to suspend Edo and Ondo state governorship elections if the violence allegedly ongoing in the states continues.
Festus Okoye spokesperson for the commission issued a statement after a meeting on Thursday August 5 saying that the elections will be suspended if the political actors threaten law and order before or during the polls.
Okoye added that the commission is deeply concerned by the “escalating levels of violent actions and incendiary statements” by parties, candidates and their supporters in the two states.
The statement read;
“Consequently, parties and candidates must on no account underestimate the resolve of the Commission to enforce the rules and regulations and apply appropriate sanctions against those who choose to break them. The Commission remains determined to conduct peaceful elections in the two States and in the outstanding National and State Assembly bye-elections.
“Political Parties must realize that Edo and Ondo Governorship elections are taking place at a time of a global pandemic and the Commission is working assiduously to observe and comply with all health and safety protocols issued by the Commission and health authorities.
“Political Parties must remember that Edo and Ondo Governorship Elections have strict constitutional and statutory timelines and threats of violence or actual violence can disrupt those timelines and create a constitutional crisis.
“The Commission wishes to reassure the people of Edo and Ondo States of its determination to conduct credible and safe elections in the two states. The Commission shall not hesitate to discontinue the process should the actions of political actors lead to cogent and verifiable threat and/or breakdown of law and order before or during the elections.”