Adetutu Folasade-Koyi, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned politicians to forget about inconclusive governorship election in Edo State, on September 19.
A top source in the Commission disclosed this to Daily Sun, in Abuja, at the weekend.
To ensure the electoral process is conclusively determined on September 19, assurances have been secured from security agencies; with the two top governorship candidates, Governor Godwin Obaseki and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu signing a peace pact tomorrow.
The top INEC source reiterated that wherever acts of violence disrupt the process, the process would be repeated until a clear winner emerges.
“In the past, politicians will disrupt elections in places where they are not strong, so that they will win on the basis of where they are strong.
“Based on the basis of section 23, the Commission said ‘no, if you disrupt elections in places where you are not strong, we will appoint another day to go and conduct the election in that place’ (because) you can’t disenfranchise the people.
“So, if elections are disrupted in a place where the candidate is not strong, we will mobilise again for that election…In past elections, we’ve also seen that politicians disrupt elections even where they are strong.
“The framers of the Constitution are not mad…they didn’t envisage inconclusive elections. So, if it’s disrupted because it is inconclusive (the voting process), our regulations says that, yes, for the first time, yes, for the first time, declare it inconclusive based on the margin of winning votes garnered and the margin of cancellation but, when calmness is restored, there would be voting again and a winner declared based on valid votes the second time.
“Sometimes, some steps are taken, to ensure that you safeguard the process… elections are not only disrupted where politicians are not strong, they are also disrupted where they are strong,” the source said.
In a similar development, the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee will meet with Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu, where they would sign a peace pact, tomorrow.
Penultimate week, the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, urged political leaders in the state to eschew violence in the election and rein in violent supporters.