Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders

On the eve of the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that the scheduled polls have been postponed.

The commission in its announcement said the postponement was in the interest of safeguarding Nigeria's democracy.

INEC chairman, Yakubu Mahmood, who made the announcement gave an assurance that the commission will by 2pm on Saturday, February 16, meet with stakeholders to elaborate on its decision on the long awaited election.

Currently present at the International Conference Centre in Abuja are many international election observers and key INEC officials.

Happening Now: Oshiomhole, others present as Nigerians await INEC's explanation for election cancellation

Happening Now: Oshiomhole, others present as Nigerians await INEC's explanation for election cancellation
Source: Original

Happening Now: Oshiomhole, others present as Nigerians await INEC's explanation for election cancellation

Happening Now: Oshiomhole, others present as Nigerians await INEC's explanation for election cancellation
Source: Original

Happening Now: Oshiomhole, others present as Nigerians await INEC's explanation for election cancellation

Happening Now: Oshiomhole, others present as Nigerians await INEC's explanation for election cancellation
Source: Original

Happening Now: Oshiomhole, others present as Nigerians await INEC's explanation for election cancellation

Happening Now: Oshiomhole, others present as Nigerians await INEC's explanation for election cancellation
Source: Original

Also present is the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, a former minister of aviation, Osita Chidoka.

However, the national of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , Uche Secondus is yet to arrive at the ICC.

Legit.ng will be bringing live updates of the proceedings of the meeting as they unfold.

Don’t forget to refresh your browser always for fresh updates.

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5.07pm: INEC chairman says the new date of the postponed elections will not be moved for any reasons.

"Without equivocation, 2019 presidential election rescheduled to February 23, is sacrosanct," Mahmood says

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5.00pm: Mahmood said the Commison has sent a bill to the National Assembly to consider two categories of voters outside the country - diplomats on foreign assignment and military personnel on foreign mission.

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4.55pm: Responding to alleged sabotage within the electoral commission, Mahmood says while they are not naive at INEC, they have not had any issue of internal sabotage.

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4.49pm: Mahmood boasts that INEC is the only public agency that has managed to constantly improve itself and its processes since 2010.

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4.47pm: The INEC chairman said to encourage all parties and stakeholders involved that the commission will continue to do its best to ensure that there is constant improvement in its election process and voter education and inclusive participation of women and girls above the age of 18.

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4.45pm: While apologizing again, Mahmood explained that he had already apologized to Nigerians in his previous speech.

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4.43pm: Responding to Oshiomhole's question "Why did the commission have to wait till 3am to announce a postponement?" Mahmood said as at 2am, the Commission was confident that the elections would hold as planned.

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4.41pm: Mahmood also said that the Commission will make public the number of PVC so collected and the ones remaining with INEC.

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4.38pm: Mahmood: "Campaigns will remain closed till the next new date for the elections."

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4.25pm: Adams Oshiomhole fumes as he asks why the INEC chairman failed to inform Nigerians about a postponement of the election at least 48 hours before the set date.

He said on behalf of the APC and Nigerians: "We demand an apology from INEC from because you have disgraced us as a nation. Why did you have to wait till 3pm before announcing a postponement if you knew there were logistics issues and bad weather."

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4.16pm: On the company procuring the card readers, the INEC chairman said he is aware of the company.

He however said that the particular company has been working with the commission since 2011 and has never been comprised.

He assured that such fear should not be entertained as the Commison would ensure that the proceeds would not be compromised.

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4.12pm: Answering question on funds already expended and availability of funds for the already rescheduled election, Mahmood replies: "We are not complaining".

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4.10pm: Responding to questions, Mahmood said it is unfortunate that Nigerians cannot vote anywhere with the PVCs. He however added that Nigeria is developing and the provisions of the law must be followed.

Mahmood also said that with time voters will be able to use their cards.

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4.06pm: INEC chairman responding to questions

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4.02pm: The representatives of the PDP chairman, Osita Chidoka speaking:

In his reaction, during the question and answer section, Chidoka alleges that a company - Activate Technology - saddled with the responsibility of procuring card readers and some other materials for the election is a member of the APC and a senatorial candidate in of the states.

He asks how the commission would ensure that the politicians do not interfere with configuration of the card readers and other sensitive materials.

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Questions from stakeholders

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3.50pm: Mahmood leaves the podium for the high table as reactions are called from the audience.

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3.46pm: INEC's chairman's speech continues:

He said however, in the next few days the commission will work on refresher training for ad hoc staff, configuration of card readers, deployment of election materials and many others within the space of time before the election.

He noted that the commission takes full responsibility for the disappointment and assure that the election will surely take place on the new dates - February 23 for presidential and National Assembly and March 9, for governorship elections.

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3.40pm: INEC's chairman's speech continues:

"Apart for logistical challenges, we've had to deal with series of sabotages." - Prof Mahmood

Citing various fire incidents in Abia, Anambra, Jos, Mahmood said that he is glad to announce that all the destroyed voters cards have been replaced.

He also added that the most serious of the fire incident was the Anambra fire outbreak in INEC office which led to the destruction of over 4,000 card readers.

He said prior to the postponement, the commission has taught it would be able to replace all that is needed within 24 hours meaning that the election will begin on Sunday, February 17.

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3.29pm: INEC chairman begins his address

Mahmood says the rescheduling of the elections expected to hold today is "indeed a painful one"

He however says the election was rescheduled early hours of the morning for the interest of the nation's democracy.

He adds that even since November, the commission has kept to the date for the election despite various challenges.

Mahmood assured that the postponement of the election has nothing to do with security, political influences, not unavailability of resources but logistics

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3:20pm: Finally, INEC chairman Yakubu Mahmood arrives, greets stakeholders already seated at the event, foreigner observers and then come to the high table.

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders
Source: Original

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders
Source: UGC

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders
Source: Original

Oluwole again apologises for the starting the briefing late and appreciates Nigerians for being patient with the commission. He further calls on the INEC chairman who comes to the podium.

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3.07pm: Former military of head of state, Yakubu Gowon, arrives

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders
Source: Original

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders

Elections postponement: LIVE UPDATES of INEC's meeting with stakeholders
Source: Original

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2.47pm: Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, INEC director of Voter Education and Publicity, climbs the podium to apologise for starting the event late.

Oluwole said that the INEC chairman and officials of the commission is still in a meeting with key stakeholders and former heads of state and presidents.

He said the briefing would commence immediately after the meeting.

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2.10pm: INEC chairman meeting with international election observers ahead of the stakeholders' meeting.

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