2019 election: I'll personally handle presidential election results collation, says Yakubu

2019 election: I'll personally handle presidential election results collation, says Yakubu

- Professor Mahmood Yakubu has vowed to solely man the result collation centre in the February 16 presidential election

- The INEC chairman said this is in order to ensure transparency and build confidence in the electoral process

- The INEC boss said he will not share his constitutional responsibility as the chairman of the collation secretariat with anybody

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has vowed to solely man the result collation centre, stressing that he will not share his constitutional responsibility as the chairman of the collation secretariat with anybody.

The INEC boss said his decision was in order to ensure transparency and build confidence in the electoral process.

According to THISDAY, the commission's chairman, however, raised the alarm over what he described as the increasing violence tendencies by youths who could be used by politicians to carry out nefarious activities, warning that the elections might be disrupted if the security agencies refuse or fail to carry out their jobs, in line with INEC’s specifications.

This is coming as the electoral body has also decided to allow members of the accredited civil society groups, local/international election observers and the media access to its Situation Room.

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The Situation Room is a centre where all results from all states for the presidential election are counted and collated before they are finally announced.

The room is unique to INEC; it is its internal control mechanism and the core activity of the commission, which is not usually open to outsiders.

“We have decided to open up the Situation Room for members of the civil society groups, party’s members, local/international election observers and the media. But they would have to be accredited. The greatest thing for us is that the process is opened,” an unnamed senior INEC officer quoted in the report said.

There has been pressure on INEC to grant international and local observers access to its situation room during the elections, especially with President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. It was canvassed that it would make the election transparent and makes the result they will declare believable.

The INEC officer also urged Nigerians and the international community not to entertain any fear about the integrity by the electoral body to conduct credible election, saying that the commission had over the years, built huge capacity to conduct credible elections.

He, however, said that INEC has its own limitations, adding that “we can only do what we can do.’’

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Meanwhile, thousands of Christians on Friday, January 25, gathered at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) hall in Abuja to pray for the country’s leadership, peace and unity ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The prayer was organised by the Concerned Nigerian Christian’s Forum (CNCF), under the leadership of Mr. Isaac Balami.

Balami who is the coordinator of the CNCF, noted that the need to pray for the leadership of Nigeria has become imperative given the current challenges facing the country.

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