The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended all regular and non-essential activities in its headquarters and offices nationwide for 14 days, from Tuesday, March 24.
Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner, and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, made the disclosure in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
Okoye said that the commission also suspended its regular quarterly meetings with stakeholders and monitoring of conventions, congresses, conferences or meetings of political parties until further notice.
He said that the suspension was in view of the Coronavirus pandemic
and the preventive measures put in place by the Federal and State Government’s.
“In line with the advisory on social distancing from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Commission has taken the following measures to protect its staff, visitors and the general public.
“Effective from Tuesday, March 24, all regular and non-essential activities will be suspended in its headquarters and offices nationwide for 14 days in the first instance.
“The regular quarterly meetings with Stakeholders, namely: political parties, civil society organisations, the media, security agencies and all other meetings, have been suspended until such a time when normalcy returns.
“In addition, the Commission will no longer monitor the conventions, congresses, conferences or meetings of political parties until further notice,” he said.
Okoye reiterated the commission’s commitment to openness, consultation and continued communication with its stakeholders and expected all to understand the emergency situation that informed the suspension of contact engagements.
“The health and wellbeing of all our staff, officials and the general public are of paramount importance to us.
“Notwithstanding the measures outlined above, the Commission will continue to meet via non-physical contact channels while communication between the Commission and its stakeholders will remain open,” he said.
Okoye emphasised that the new measures taken do not affect the activities for Edo and Ondo Governorship elections scheduled for Sept. 19 and Oct. 10 respectively.
“We will continue to keep the public abreast of developments as they concern our electoral process,” he said. (NAN)