With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic taking the shine off many socio-economic and political activities in the country, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says political parties in Edo State are free to openly canvass for votes and hold public campaigns ahead of the September 19, 2020 governorship election.
INEC Head of Voter Education in Edo State, Mr Timidi Wariowei, stated that going by provisions of existing electoral laws, the ban on political campaigns was officially lifted and activities flagged off on June 21, 2020.
Wariowei said told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin that: “Campaigns have officially started in the state. Campaigns starts 90 days to election and it started on June 21.”
He also disclosed that the State office of INEC had taken delivery of some non-sensitive materials and distributed same to the 18 local government areas of the state.
“The reason we distributed materials early is because the office we are occupying now has a small storage capacity”, Wariowei said
According to him; “The storage facility cannot accommodate all the materials, so as the materials come we dispatch to our local government offices.
“The non-sensitive materials we have received so far are not complete so as they come in batches we distribute because of lack of space to keep them.”
The INEC official explained that the total registered voters in Edo State as at 2019 is 2,210,534, while uncollected PVCs stands at 483,868.
Meanwhile, the electoral umpire has cleared and displayed list of candidates of 14 registered political parties, with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as major contenders in the gubernatorial poll. – (NAN)