No result will be declared where the poll in Edo or Ondo state is characterised by violence, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said.
Its Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the experience in the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections where violence was prevalent had taught the commission a lesson.
Speaking on the preparations for the polls at a virtual workshop organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Prof. Yakubu said: “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 pointblank; 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.”
The commission reiterated its commitment to free and fair elections in the two states.
Yakubu added: “While elections are disrupted, we should look far beyond the electoral commission. I think you should put your fingers on the problem, on the political class and the security challenges. And that is why we have been engaging with them,” he said.
The INEC chief said he had a meeting with the national security adviser, we are meeting with all the security agencies. We will protect the integrity of the process.