The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the conduct of 15 pending bye-elections for December 5.
Mr Festus Okoye, the INEC National Commissioner, and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, in a statement issued in Abuja said that the decision was taken at the commission’s meeting held on Friday, November 13.
He said that INEC among other things reviewed the outcome of its quarterly consultations with stakeholders in the electoral process.
He said that the commission further reviewed the security situation and other challenges regarding the bye-elections holding in 11 states.
The commission on October 22, postponed the bye-elections earlier scheduled for Oct. 31, on account of the security situation and other environmental challenges in the country.
Okoye recalled that the commission met again on November 5, and reviewed the situation.
He said that the commission at the meeting noted among other things the vandalism of INEC local government offices and facilities which affected some areas where the bye-elections were scheduled to hold.
“Consequently, the commission decided to consult critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the bye-elections.
“The commission consulted with political parties and civil society organisations on November 10, as well as with the media and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on November 11.
“Finally, it met with all Resident Electoral Commissioners on Thursday, November 12.
“Based on these consultations, the Commission believes that security in the affected States has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated.
“Consequently, the Commission has decided to hold all the pending bye-elections on Saturday, December 5.”
The national commissioner said that INEC acknowledged the support; understanding; and cooperation of stakeholders; and the general public as it considered the scheduling of the bye-elections.
These, according to him, were done in the overall efforts to reposition the electoral process; as well as to give meaning and value to the votes of the people.
Okoye also appealed to voters and stakeholders in the states; with pending bye-elections to continue to cooperate with INEC; in its efforts to deliver credible elections under a safe environment.