EndSARS Protests Threaten October 31 Bye-Elections - 12 months ago
With the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), may be forced to postpone the bye-elections scheduled for October 31. The protests, which have degenerated into violence, have created a lot of tension in most parts of the country. The scheduled polls were expected to take place in Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Nganzai State Constituency, Borno State, Bayo State Constituency, Borno State, Cross River North Senatorial District, and Obudu State Constituency, Cross River State. Others are: Imo North Senatorial District, Lagos East Senatorial District, Kosofe II State Constituency, Lagos State, Plateau South Senatorial District, Bakura State Constituency, Zamfara State, and Ibaji State Constituency, Kogi State. A source in the Commission told our correspondent that INEC had no option than to postpone the election “given the disruption caused by the protests, especially to the Nigerian Police, which is an integral part of the electoral process”. He said the election may be postponed by a minimum of two weeks “or as long as the protests last”. Also, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), on Tuesday, urged INEC to consider postponement of the October 31 bye-elections by two weeks following the ongoing #EndSARS protests. The IPAC chairman, Femi Olaniyi, in a statement in Lagos, said that the postponement had become imperative for seamless and hitch-free bye-elections across the country. “In view of the present ongoings in the country generally, INEC should postpone all bye-elections nationwide by two weeks because all political parties could not campaign as required due to the #EndSARS protests nationwide. “Going ahead with the election on 31st October will be a biased action against the new and upcoming political parties that needed to create more awareness. “This is the first election in Lagos after the de-registration of some political parties and campaign can only be done during the election period to make known to the public the currently registered parties,” he said. However, when contacted, Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the Commission was yet to take a decision on whether to postpone the elections or not.