NIGERIA’S Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) has postponed the Edo State gubernatorial elections due to hold this weekend until September 28 in response to a request from security agencies that holding the polls now was dangerous due to the threat of violence.
Earlier this week, the Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigerian Police Force had asked for a postponement of the elections, saying that they could be marred by a terrorist attack. According to the security agencies, Edo State was one of the states targeted by extremist elements for attacks around the proposed election date.
Inec’s state commissioners met in Benin, the Edo State capital yesterday to consider the request and after deliberating on the matter, decided to accept the call for a postponement. Inec’s national commissioner for voter education and publicity, Solomon Atoyebi, announced the decision yesterday, although it did not go down well with all the political participants.
The postponement elicited immediate response from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which rejected the move and the Ekiti State governor Ayo Fayose, who said the development was a bad signal for Nigeria’s democracy. Also, there was pandemonium, yesterday, in Okpella, Estako East Local Government Area of trhe state as supporters of the PDP and the All Progressives Congress clashed over the issue.