- INEC has said it won't postpone the Saturday, February 16 presidential poll, despite the challenges its facing
- Three INEC offices have been gutted by mysterious fire in the week leading to the general elections
- The commission, however, said the fire incidents have created a set-back to its earlier arrangements for a smooth conduct of the 2019 polls
Despite the recent fire incidents in three of its offices, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, February 13, said it will not postpone the general elections which will begin on February 16.
The commission chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, said although the fire incidents have constituted a set-back in INEC's preparation for a smooth election, the commission will still go on to conduct the election.
Yakubu who made the statement through one of his national commissioners, Festus Okoye, during the unveiling of a central election monitoring hub for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), said the commission will not postpone the election for any reason.
He said: "In relation to this particular elections, we had some challenges yesterday (Tuesday), but we were able to recover, and as I speak, we are moving all the Smart Card Readers required for the conduct of elections in Anambra state and we are not going to postpone the election in any part of Nigeria on grounds of some of these challenges.
"As some of you are aware, this election will be conducted in over 120,000 polling units, and we also have over 50, 000 voting points. The voting points were created to ease the process of voting, especially for the Nigerian people.
“We have over 91 political parties that are registered in Nigeria and 73 of these political parties sponsored candidates for the presidential election.
“The process of collating the results manually will be issued out and INEC had decided that one collation officer per registration area cannot do the job and do it effectively and do it in such a way that the anxiety of the Nigerian people relating to who will be their next president will be addressed on time."
Okoye said that INEC has recruited two collation officers for each registration area and two collation officers for the 774 local government areas.
“So, the collation officer for the presidential election is different. The collation officer will collate and proceed and since the presidential election will move from the registration area to the local governments and then to the state before it gets to the Federal Capital Territory to the national collation center.
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“While the collation officer for the Senatorial and the House of Representative elections will move and stop at a certain point where declaration will be made. In order for us not to keep the Nigerian people waiting for too long, we are going to have two collation officers in the 8,809 registration areas and two collation officers for the 774 LGAs in the country for the purposes of the first election," he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that several protesters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state, on Thursday, February 14, barricaded the entrance of Rivers headquarters of the INEC on Aba Road in Port Harcourt.
The APC supporters are firm in their position that INEC must obey the Court of Appeal's judgement ordering that its candidates should be relisted for the coming polls.
Led by the APC's southeast senatorial district's candidate, Oji Ngofa, the protesters who carried several placard went on chorusing, “No APC, no elections in Rivers state."
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