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Enugu Bye-Election: We Can’t Conduct Poll Without Police Presence, Says REC




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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The proposed bye election for Isi-Uzo state Constituency of Enugu state recently postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), following the violent #ENDSARS protest that rocked the entire nation, will still remain on hold, until policemen return to their duty posts.

It would be recalled that the election earlier scheduled for October 31st ‘2020, was postponed as a result of the #Endsars protest which forced policemen to quit the road.

Enugu State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Dr. Emeka Ononamadu, who stated this Wednesday during a consultative meeting between him and the media as well as members of the Civil Society organization as it concerns the Isi Uzo poll.

He insisted that the commission cannot not facilitate the conduct of Isi Uzo State Constituency bye-election in Enugu state without the presence of Police Personnel.

ISI-Uzo State Constituency in Enugu State was declared vacant by INEC following the demise of the member representing the area, late Hon. Chijioke Ugwueze.

However, Widow of the late lawmaker, Amaka Ugwueze, has emerged  flagbearer of the ruling People’s Democratic PDP in the state, while the major opposition party in the state, the All progressive Congress APC has Engr. Macdonald Ejiofor Okworfor as its candidate.

According to the INEC boss “we are here to meet with stakeholders to deliberate on suitable date for Isi -Uzo bye election which was postponed due to ENDSARS violence.

“This problem was not only in Enugu but the election was also postponed in all the 11 states across the country where election supposed to hold last month

“In INEC, we see election as a national issue so we cannot fix any date on our own alone because of the present situation in the country as a result of ENDSARS protest.

“It’s unfortunate that people are still in fear and the police personnel are yet to come back to duty  due to the last month incident  and we cannot conduct this election without the presence of Nigeria police personnel.

“Also most VIP in this region move around now without police personnel apart from the Governors as they were all withdrawn because they need more police personnel to guide our prisons to prevent jail break as the ENDSARS hoodlums planned to attack prison and free inmates.

“Even though that we are ready  to conduct the Isi Uzo state constituency election but we cannot endeger lives of the people so we must consult with all stakeholders including political parties, traditional, religious leaders among others to arrive at a suitable date,” he said

The Enugu REC,  who lamented over the low turnout of voters in the last general election in the state said “we don’t also want to experience another low turnout in Isi-Uzo state constituency bye election because we don’t want to arrive at polling unit and see only 20 voters out of 1,000 voters coming out to exercise their franchise so we want to run inclusive, free and fair election that will be acceptable to all.

“Even the political parties told us that they need to go back to their constituency and reactivate their campaign so this also require some times. Even though INEC is ready to conduct the election, but our readiness is subject to other stakeholders, he said.

However, stakeholders at the meeting expressed mixed reaction over the conduct of the election. While some suggested that the conduct of the poll is visible with the situation in the country others suggested that the people should be given more time to overcome their fears and trauma.


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