The Edo State governorship election will now hold on Wednesday, September 28, 2916, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said.
INEC National Commissioner, Solomon Soyebi, who addressed journalists at the Edo State headquarters of the electoral body in Benin on Thursday night, said the move became imperative following communication received from the police and the Department of State Security (DSS) that there were security threats in Edo State and some other states of the federation.
He recalled that at the end of a stakeholders meeting held on September 7, 2016, and attended by relevant security agencies including the representatives of the Inspector General of Police, the DSS, the Director General of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), Civil Society organisations and other critical stakeholders, INEC affirmed its preparedness to conduct the election.
Soyebi said that the Commission resolved to proceed with the election even when news filtered in from the social media before the end of the stakeholders meeting that the police and the DSS were advising INEC to postpone the election on security grounds since there was no official communication to this effect.
“However, at about 6:00p.m. today, the Commission received official communication from the police and the DSS drawing its attention to the need to postpone the Edo Governorship Elections.
“Such a postponement, the communication indicates, is necessary in view of threats of terrorist activities in Edo and other states of the federation during the election and over the Sallah period.
“The deployment of security personnel countrywide to secure lives and property would overstretch their capacity to at the same time provide adequate security for the elections.
“Consequently, the Commission notes the request of the security agencies and, considering the security implications of proceeding with the election, the safety of eligible voters, electoral officials, including ad hoc staff and other stakeholders, has decided to reschedule the Edo Governorship Election to Wednesday, 28th September, 2016.”