Sunday, 3 February 2019

There Is No Going Back On 2019 Election..INEC

With two weeks to the presidential and National Assembly polls, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is ready with sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, while logistics have also been firmed up. On deployments, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye explained that ballot papers for the election and other sensitive materials were ready, and currently being delivered to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offices across the country to avoid hitches, noting that the materials would be taken to state and local government offices of the commission on the eve of the election.

He said: “The commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with transport workers unions for the deployment and retrieval of election personnel and materials in a safe and timely manner. Resident electoral commissioners have also met with the unions in the transport sector and are perfecting issues relating to deployment and retrieval of materials in conjunction with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

“All the state offices and local government offices of the commission are taking delivery of non-sensitive materials. The commission has delivered the bulk of the non-sensitive materials required for the conduct of the elections to states and local governments, while the remaining are in the zonal stores of the commission and will be distributed at the appropriate time.

The electoral body however, lamented that it was encumbered by the unwieldy and large number of political parties on the ballot, and the size of ballot papers, while also informing that different court orders arising from party primary elections also constitute a potent threat to its operations.A total of 73 political parties will be participating in the February 16 presidential poll, and the commission pointed out that with this number, management of the polling units would be a Herculean task, considering the number of party agents, which the law permits their presence at polling units.

The national commissioner who made the revelation during an interactive session with media executives in Lagos, yesterday, explained that it has already taken its stand regarding the litigations arising from party primaries affecting the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers and Zamfara states, which is to obey the judiciary. Okoye assured that the commission would conduct the election based on legal and constitutional stipulations, adding that it would continue to conduct its activities in total obedience to the rule of law and due process.

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