The suspended local government election in Ondo State which was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic has now been rescheduled to hold on August 22, 2020.
The Chairman of the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC), Prof Yomi Dinakin, who disclosed this during a meeting with leaders of political parties in the state said the commission would comply strictly with the protocols of the Presidential Task Force on COVID -19 during the election.
Dinakin said the choice of the date by the commission is in compliance with Section 25 of the Electoral Act which confers on the commission the power to determine the date of the election.
It would be recalled that since the administration of the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, no local government election has been held in the state.
The Chairman, however, stated that all political parties and voters must adhere strictly to all COVID-19 precautionary measures stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which include wearing of face mask, washing of hands, the use of hand sanitizer and most importantly, maintaining physical distance during the voting exercise.
He said: “Notice is hereby given that the poll for chairmanship and councilorship elections shall hold on Saturday, 22nd of August, 2020.
“Accreditation and voting start at 8am on that day and closes at 3pm to give room for collation. All vehicular movement shall be restricted except those on essential and election duties. Markets and shops shall remain closed within the period.
There shall be no open campaign rallies, there should be no mass congregation of persons. Contestants are enjoined to use the social media, electronic, print and others to canvass for votes within the stipulated period of the campaign.
“On the day of the election, the commission shall demand and enforce compliance with health protocols such as physical distancing, hand washing, use of sanitisers, face mask and other procedure”
He enjoined all leaders of political parties to educate their members on the need to protect themselves against the Coronavirus pandemic,
He, however, solicited for the cooperation of all stakeholders to make the election free, fair, credible and safe.
Speaking on behalf of the political parties, the Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Mr Charles Fagbounka, commended the state electoral body on the decision to conduct the poll after a very long period of suspension due to COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, assured that political parties participating in the local government election will not only comply with the rules of the game but the COVID-19 rules to make the election a success.