By: Princess Ekwi Ajide

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has solicited the cooperation and support in disseminating necessary information that would help protect the health of voters and all those involved in electoral activities during the forthcoming Edo and Ondo States Governorship elections.

He made the appeal during a Virtual Consultative Meeting between Media Organisations and the Commission against the background of the global health emergency COVID-19 pandemic for the Edo and Ondo State Governorship elections via Teleconference in Abuja.

Professor Mahmood Yakubu the Commission believes that the media opinion and suggestions will be of immense benefit to Nigerians and the electoral activities.

He said the Commission values media contributions to policy formulation and implementation just as he disclosed that the forthcoming Edo and Ondo Governorship elections as well as many bye-elections across the country will not be different as the accreditation of media organisations for the elections will be done online through a dedicated portal.

Professor Mahmood reassured that the Commission will continue to adopt and implement appropriate measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on electoral activities.

Speaking on the modalities for voter   education and publicity for the election, the National Commissioner and Chairman on Voter Education, Barrister Festus Okoye said the Commission is determined to proceed with the two end of tenure Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States and the ten Senatorial and State Assembly elections with cautious optimism bearing in mind that the health and safety of the people will be crucial determinants of the success or otherwise of the elections.

He noted that the Commission is determined to deploy appropriate technology and mechanisms of reaching the Nigerian people in these challenging times towards assuring the citizenry that they will be safe while participating as voters, officials, observers or providing security.

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