The Independent National Electoral Commission has postponed the September 10 gubernatorial election in Edo State.Nick Dazang, spokesman for the commission, told journalists that the election would now hold on a new date no less than two weeks from Saturday.
“We have now decided to shift the election forward for another two weeks,” Mr. Dazang said. “We would announce a new date within the next 24 hours.”
The postponement came a day after the police and State Security Service announced their intention to pull out of the exercise, citing security concerns.
After a series of consultation and initial show of defiance, the Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC finally buckled.
Godwin Obaseki, the APC candidate, is slugging it out with Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the PDP in the race to replace incumbent Adams Oshiomhole whose two-term tenure expires this November.
The electoral body had initially brushed aside concerns raised by the police and the SSS, affirming its earlier schedule.
The commission said it would not be “teleguided”, and argued that suspending the polls would be costly after reaching at least 97 per cent readiness level.
A source at the INEC headquarters said that the commission was pressured to change its decision.
“The SSS and the police clearly said they can’t guarantee the security of INEC’s personnel and materials,” the source said.