Despite COVID-19, INEC Says Ondo & Edo Elections Must Hold, Orders Offices To Reopen

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ordered the immediate reopening of its Edo and Ondo offices in preparation for the governorship elections in both states.

The commission made the announcement in its “guidelines for resumption after the COVID-19 lockdown” shared on Facebook on Wednesday.

INEC scheduled the elections in Edo and Ondo states for September 19 and October 10, respectively.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission said it cannot postpone the governorship elections in both states owing to the deadlines provided by the constitution.

The guidelines provide that staff members are to work three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 8am and 2pm, while staff above 58 years with underlying medical conditions are to work from home.

“Ondo and Edo State offices should reopen immediately due to the upcoming gubernatorial elections in consultation with the relevant State Governments for issuance of necessary permits,” the advisory read.

“Funds required to meet the hygiene protocols (decontamination, hand sanitisers, etc) will be made available to these two state offices as soon as possible and to all other state offices as the need arises.

“All staff above age 58 with underlying medical conditions (hypertension, diabetes, asthma, renal and hepatic diseases) should work from home.

“Other staff with underlying medical conditions should work from home.

“Pregnant staff and nursing mothers should work from home.”

INEC asked state offices to “liaise with the various state COVID-19 response secretariats on decontamination protocols for their respective states”.

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