Governorship elections in both Bayelsa and Kogi States have been shifted by two weeks.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, succumbed to pressure from critical stakeholders, Thursday, and pushed the polls from Saturday, November 2, 2019 to Saturday November 16.
The commission also stated that “the timelines for all other activities leading to the elections have also been adjusted to align with the new date.”
The new developments were announced in a statement by Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee.
He disclosed that the commission took the decision during the commission’s regular weekly meeting, held on Thursday, “after a careful consideration” of appeals from the stakeholders.
The two-week postponement came on the heels of a courtesy visit by Bayelsa stakeholders to the commission’s Professor Mahmud Yakubu, requesting for a shift in the date of the gubernatorial vote. The team was led by the state’s Deputy Governor, retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah.
The retired Rear Admiral had, during the visit, hinged the team’s request on the fact that the day clashed with the state’s yearly thanksgiving service which, according to him, was fully recognised by law.
For effect, the Deputy Governor also told Yakubu that the thanksgiving service had, in fact, been on for the past seven years.
It, therefore, didn’t come as a surprise to political observers when INEC, at the end of its weekly strategy meeting on Thursday, shifted the polls to Saturday, November 16, 2019.