Ebonyi stares down Covid-19, holds LG election August 15


* Guidelines to be in line with Covid-19 safety protocols

In what looks like life-must-go-on-regardless body language, the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) has rescheduled local Government elections to hold on August 15, 2020, in the State.
Pledging to operate within the ambit of established safety protocols, Nigeria has scheduled to hold governorship elections also in Edo and Ondo States this September and November respectively, despite the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
Chairman of EBSIEC, Barr. Jossy Eze, made this known in Abakaliki yesterday, during a Consultative meeting with different political parties, stakeholders, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and journalists held at the Commission’s headquarters.
Umahi had last week lifted the suspension on political activities for the conduct of the LG elections.
The elections were earlier scheduled for April 2020, but the Governor suspended the exercise, citing outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some other political parties had already concluded primary elections before the suspension of the exercise.
As a result of the indefinite postponement of the polls, Umahi had appointed and swore in Caretaker Chairmen for the 13 councils in the state, following the expiration of the tenure of the elected Chairmen ended on May 29.
At the consultative meeting yesterday, the Commission’s Chairman said: “We are now ready with activities leading to Local Government elections in the State, Saturday August 15th 2020, a date for the conduct of Local Government Election to elect Chairmen and Councillors in the 13 Councils in the State.”
“In fixing the date, we were mindful of COVID-19 rules, EBSIEC has revised its guidelines to be in line with Covid-19 Protocols”
According to Eze, the Commission is not starting the processes afresh but merely taking off from where we stopped last April.
He directed political parties participating in the exercise to notify the general public of all the activities of the Commission, including selection of ad-hoc staff, enlightenment, sensitization and political campaigns.
Eze assured representatives of different political parties of the Commission’s readiness to give all of them alevel playing ground in the exercise.
He also allayed fears that pending litigations might affect the exercise, insisting that the Commission had the necessary legal to proceed with the exercise.
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