The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has vowed not to surrender to any attempt aimed at discrediting the electoral process and retuning pre-determined outcomes in the country.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, stated this in a chat with journalists on Sunday in Abuja.
Okoye was speaking on the decision to suspend indefinitely the Ekiti State by-election.
Violence forced the commission to suspend the last Saturday’s election held in the Ekiti East 1 Constituency of the State House of Assembly following the killing of three people by hoodlums.
He said that the decision was necessary to preserve the integrity of the country’s elections and safeguard the lives of citizens.
Okoye said it would amount to dereliction of its electoral duty if the commission proceeds with any election in the face of brazen violence that had compromised its integrity.
He noted that the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti issued a statement detailing the level of violence unleashed on voters, election officials, and security personnel on election duty.
The INEC commissioner said the commission had reinforced the REC situation report by imposing an indefinite postponement of the by-election.
He said: “These measures are necessary to preserve the integrity of elections and the life and safety of voters, election officials, and security personnel on election duty.
“INEC will never condone electoral banditry aimed at discrediting the electoral process and retuning predetermined outcomes.
“To buckle under the pressure of organised, coordinated, and mindless violence will amount to surrendering the sovereign democratic rights of the people to clean elections, and the suzerainty of anti-democratic forces.”
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