The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has given reasons for retracting its earlier stance to proceed with the Edo State governorship election initially scheduled for Saturday.
Hours after the commission said it would go ahead with the election despite the contrary advice of the Police and the State Security Service, SSS, it retracted saying it had postponed the election by two weeks.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, the Police and the SSS called on INEC to postpone the election and allow them address threats emanating from insurgents bent on attacking electorates and disrupting the election.
The electoral body initially refused to be “teleguided”. It said suspending the polls would be costly after reaching at least 97 per cent readiness level.
After a series of consultations, the Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC finally gave in to the demands of security agencies. It postponed the election to September 28.
In a telephone conversation with PREMIUM TIMES Thursday night, the spokesperson of INEC, Nick Dazang, said the latest decision was based on a better appraisal of the situation by INEC, following explanations from the security agencies.
“It was only as at this evening that we were officially communicated and they explained to us the challenges they had that would affect their capacity to secure the election,” he said.
“Before then, we were hearing just like any other person from the media that they were advising us to postpone. And as a responsible organisation, we did not think there was any way we could proceed on that basis.”