Prepare for nationwide protest if you don’t pass INEC budget - National Assembly gets ultimatum

Prepare for nationwide protest if you don’t pass INEC budget - National Assembly gets ultimatum

- A group has called on the National Assembly to reconvene and pass INEC budget

- It warned that it will embark on a nationwide protest if this is not done

- The group said the action of the lawmakers could cause anarchy

A coalition of civil society groups under the auspices of the Movement for Transparent Elections has issued a five-day ultimatum to the National Assembly to reconvene and pass the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Punch reports that the group held a protest on Thursday, September 13, at the main gate of the National Assembly.

Led by Abiodun Ajijola, the group said there would be a nationwide protest if their demand is not followed.

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They presented letters addressed to the president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to the security men.

Ajijola said: “It is quite unfortunate and completely unacceptable that the National Assembly is considering postponing its resumption till the second week of October 2019 because its members are going to take part in political party primaries. What is the logic in going for primaries and refusing to conclusively approve the budget for the same election they wish to participate in it?

“If the budget is not passed, we may find ourselves in a state of anarchy. We want the National Assembly to resume to pass the budget so that we can have a smooth election.

“It is very clear that there is no urgency on the part of the lawmakers to pass the budget, but the Movement for Transparent Elections wants to remind all members of the National Assembly that they were elected to serve in the best interest of Nigerians and not their personal interests.

“|INEC has an approved Election Project Plan, which guides it in effective election implementation. With the delay, it would be arduous, if at all possible, to meet all necessary benchmarks within the required timelines. Therefore, there must be no further delay! The current intentional delay in approving the general election budget is precarious for the peace and stability of Nigeria.”

The protesters vowed to "mobilise Nigerians from all walks of life, particularly from the constituencies of the lawmakers, to embark on a sustained protests, daily and simultaneously nationwide until the budget of INEC and the security agencies were passed. We would also let Nigerians know those who are causing these delays.”

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has no plan to postpone the 2019 general elections.

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Rotimi Oyekanmi, the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, made the clarification in a statement he issued in Abuja on Wednesday, September 12, NAN reports. gathers that Oyekanmi said the clarification became necessary following a story with the headline: 'We may shift 2019 polls over threat of violence - INEC.'

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