By Toby Prince
The Bayelsa State government has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for moving the date for the governorship election in the state.
INEC on Thursday announced a shift in date for the governorship election in Bayelsa and Kogi States.
The election in the two states will now hold on November 16, instead of November 2 as earlier scheduled.
INEC said it shifted the election date because of appeals from the Bayelsa government, elders, religious, and traditional leaders in the state who argued that the election date coincides with the state’s annual Thanksgiving Day which is backed by the Bayelsa State Thanksgiving Day Law 2012.
Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the Commissioner for Information, Bayelsa State, said on Friday that the shift in the election date was a “welcome development” and “highly appreciated”.
Mr Iworiso-Markson said the Mahmmud Yakubu-led INEC has done for the state “an unforgettable gesture that will never be taken for granted”.
Mr Iworiso-Markson expressed the gratitude of the government and people of the state to INEC.
“By heeding to the plea of the government and other critical stakeholders to shift the date, INEC has demonstrated that it listens to genuine complaints and that its decisions on electoral matters are not cast in stone,” he said.
The information commissioner said INEC’s “uprightness” has inspired renewed feelings among the people that the commission will conduct a free, fair, and credible election on November 16.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Bayelsa people, the information commissioner said, look forward to the election, and believe that their votes will count.