The leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission is planning to have a meeting with the leadership of all security agencies on the Edo State governorship election.
The meeting, it was gathered, would be held before the commission would meet with stakeholders in the state before the election, which is scheduled to hold on September 28.
Specifically, the meeting with the security agencies will involve the Department of State Services, the police, the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, the army, navy and others.
The commission had shifted the date of the election which was originally scheduled to hold on September 10 to the new date due to security advice from the DSS and the police.
The two security agencies had claimed that there were plans by those they referred to as extremists and insurgents to disrupt the election and also caused mayhem across the country between September 12 and 13.
To avoid bloodshed and crisis-ridden election, they called on the commission to consider the possibility of shifting the election to enable them to deal with the security challenge.
Though the commission initially said it was going ahead with the election, it later cancelled the plan and shifted the date of the election.
Our correspondent gathered then that the commission decided to shelve its desire to go ahead with the election when security agents refused to escort its officials to their different destinations for distribution of materials.
Apart from this, the commission was later served an official notice of the decision by the security agencies on the danger involved in going ahead with the election.
It was learnt on Sunday that the meeting with the security agencies would afford the commission to know how far they (the DSS, Police, etc) have gone to deal with the projected security problems in the state.
INEC’s Deputy Director, Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Nick Dazang, confirmed the proposed meeting with the security agencies in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Sunday.
He said, “It is true that we are planning to meet with security agencies such as the Police, the DSS and others before the date we fixed for the election.
“The meeting will enable us to evaluate what all the parties have done as the day for the election draws nearer.
“We cannot afford to fail because the election, like every other one, is very important to us as a commission and to Nigerians generally.
“We will meet with the security agencies so that we can compare notes. We need to know what has happened between when we shifted the election and now.”
Dazang also confirmed that another round of meeting would be held with stakeholders in the state.
While saying that the meeting would hold after the one with the security agencies, he however said the meeting with stakeholders would not be elaborate.
He said, “We are also going to have another stakeholders’ meeting in Benin. The meeting will come after our meeting with the security agencies.
“But unlike the one we held before postponing the election, this meeting will just be attended by some of our national commissioners and the state Resident Electoral Commissioner.
“The chairman and others might not be there. In all, we are getting ready for the election and we are also banking on the cooperation of the electorates and the people of the state.”
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