INEC APOLOGIES OVER ELECTIONS DELAY
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has apologized over postponement of the national elections from earlier proposed dates of elections.
Postponement of elections across the country has brought mix feeling, most people are left with doubt on its credibility of conducting free, fair and credible elections. However, INEC apologies are yet to change the mindset of voters on the basis conducting credible elections. A country with eighty million (80 million) registered voters are filled with worries over the elections outcome, and while questioning a voter, he gave reasons, and said all was as a result of poor preparation from the commission and that we are faced with in this country.
The INEC chairman in a press conference said, “We have striven diligently to keep this promises in very trying circumstances, in keeping with our promise to consolidate against two of the last electoral cycle, the commission conducted 195 reruns and up to season elections across the country since the last general election of 2015. Most of these elections have been generally adjudged to show progressive improvement in planning, execution, and outcomes. This commitment to continue to improve on elections, our goal is to plan carefully, execute meticulously and bring stability into election management here in Nigeria. Consequently, we announced fixed dates for elections in Nigeria to the effect that presidential and national assembly elections will always hold on the third Saturday in the month of February of an election year, while governorship and state house of assembly elections follows two weeks later”.
“Having settled this we began the plan quite early with strategic plan, strategic program of action and election project plan. In fact, the plan for the 2019 general election was already in November 2017 and we consequently issued the time table and schedule of activities for the elections over a year ago on the 9th of January 2018, we carefully followed the time table and implemented 13 out of 14 activities as scheduled, not one aspect was postponed”.
According to him based on INEC apologies to the masses, the commission has kept with the time frame as they are prepared. Meanwhile, it is said that elections constitute the most extensive mobilization of men and materials that any country can undertake in its time.
The chairman of the commission ‘Mahmood Yakubu’ on its presentation of INEC apologies said, “While the commission was considering the following Monday 18th February 2019 as an option, our ICT department advised us that it will require 5 to 6 days to reconfigure about 180,000 smart card readers earlier programmed to work only on election day, Saturday 16th February 2019”. He therefore added that, “It’s for this reason that the commission decided to adjust election date to Saturday 23rd February 2019 for presidential and national assembly elections, under consequential adjustment of governorship, state house of assembly and federal capital territory (FCT) area council elections to Saturday 9th March 2019. Some sensitive materials has been distributed, however, such materials are to be retrieved and taking to central bank of Nigeria for custody”.
Finally on INEC apologies on behalf of the commission, “I want to appeal to Nigerians and all other stakeholders for their understanding of what has been a very difficult decision for the commission. Our decision is entirely taking by the commission. It has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence and nothing to do with the availability of resources”.
- Will Nigerians and observers accept INEC apologies pending its outcome?