By Josphine Oguntoyinbo
Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) has fixed Saturday, August 22, 2020 for the conduct of local governments election in the state.
The Chairman of the commission, Professor ‘Yomi Dinakin announced the new date while engaging stakeholders at a briefing held at the commissions headquarters in Akure.
According to him, out of the 18 political parties registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), 13 parties indicated interest in the election and as such those political parties will have their logos on the ballot papers during the election.
The ODIEC boss posited that the meeting was to give update on the activities of the commission towards the conduct of the election, adding that the exercise is in continuation of the activities that the commission began.
“The commission in compliance with the directives of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had to put all activities in respect to the election in abeyance. Since there is prudently a relaxation in respect to activities, the Commission decided to continue the time-table towards the election with minor adjustments.
“The choice of 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 elections,’ he disclosed.
He stressed that during the conduct of the election, all prescribed protocols released by the Presidential task force on COVID-19,such as social distancing, hands washing, wearing of face mask and use of hand sanitizers shall be observed, noting that ODIEC is committed to conduct the election as scheduled.
He recalled that the commission has given three months notice to political parties in January that the election will hold in April, but was delayed as a result of COVID 19 pandemic lockdown.
Dinakin warned that their shall be no open campaign rallies or mass congregation of persons towards the election.
He therefore enjoined contestants to make use of both the conventional and social media to canvass for votes within the stipulated period of campaign.
He solicited for the cooperation of all to peacefully conduct themselves during the electoral process in order to make the election free, fair, credible and safe.
Declaring that accreditation and voting would start by 8:00am and closes 3:00pn to give room for collation, he said no loitering shall be entertained.
Responding, the Chairman Inter-Party Advisory Council, (IPAC) Mr Charles Fagbounka promised to put machinery in motion to ensure hitch free exercise.
He assured that IPAC will continue to work closely with ODIEC to ensure unified activities towards the election.
Stakeholders in attendance included, the representatives of political parties, Non Governmental Organizations, Women Groups, different media houses, as well key officials of the commission.
Meanwhile, The Hope gathered that the publication of notice of the poll is fixed for Tuesday 28 Thursday 30th Julyi, while training of Adhoc staff will commence on Tuesday, 11th to Friday, 14th August
Also, submission of names of Party Agents is scheduled for Monday, 10th-Thursday, 13th August, pasting of list of Adhoc Staff in Local Government Areas is slated for Monday, 17th-Wednesday 19th August, last day/time for campaign is Thursday, 20th August at 11.59pm,while election holds on 22nd August,2020.