The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu has assured Nigerians of the commission’s commitment towards delivering free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
Prof. Yakubu disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, while interacting with Civil Society organisation, CSO, a forum organised by Service Independent Delivery Monitoring Group, ISDMG, which provided an opportunity for Nigerians to interface with the INEC chair.
The event provided avenue for chat sessions during which panelists posed critical questions pertaining to INEC preparedness, security, and so on. Several civil society organisations such as ISDMG, International Press Centre, NOPRIN( Network of Police Reform in Nigeria), Partners for Electoral Reforms, YIAGA, were all in attendance.
Prof. Yakubu said INEC cannot deliver without the active participation of citizens.
He assured that INEC was determined to deliver free, fair and credible elections in 2019 and that any INEC staff who compromises would be dealt with according to the law.
The INEC Chair also brought Nigerians up to speed on the commission’s preparedness on the forthcoming general elections, continuous voter registration, election sequence, collation officers and security.
Prof Yakubu said,“INEC has virtually finished the planning process involving planning for the election and strategic plan and program of action with two more outstanding elections in Taraba and Bauchi.
“INEC conducted over 178 elections with minimum litigation which is an indication of increased citizens’ confidence in the electoral process and has stabilized the election calendar and made it more predictable”.
“In compliance with the requirements of the law, the commission has been conducting continuous voter registration (CVR). The commission has been taking CVR very seriously realizing that CVR should not be tied to elections”.
INEC Chair promised that the total number of registered citizens will be on the INEC website in the coming days and assured that 2019 election will be better than the 2015 election.
Professor Yakubu stated,”For me, INEC work is a calling not a job and I cannot afford to fail Nigerians”.
On the election sequence, Prof. Yakubu said, “there is no lacuna in the legal framework for elections and that all that INEC has done with regards to setting the election timetable has been done in line with the existing law.
He further affirmed that INEC will continue to use academicians from Universities as collation officers which is perceived as more credible when compared to individuals from other sectors.