The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected calls allegedly made by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), for postponement of next month’s elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would not shift the polls, according to a Guardian report.
In a swift reaction, however, the NSA denied seeking the postponement of the elections, just as the All Progressives Congress (APC), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar rejected the call allegedly made by Col. Sambo Dasuki.
INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega, at the 12th Daily Trust Dialogue, through a Commissioner of the Commission, Dr. Chris Eyimoga, declared that electorates must vote with their PVCs, adding that card readers would be deployed to verify true ownership of cards before voting.
The INEC chairman also assured that there would not be malpractices during the February polls.
The commission insisted that it was working in progress ahead of a peaceful conduct of the elections in line with the international standards that would be required from any election management body.
Former vice presidential candidate of the defunct Congress For Progressives Change (CPC), Pastor Tunde Bakare, and the Governor of Adamawa State, Bala James Ngilari, had earlier sought the postponement of the elections.
Chief Press Secretary to INEC’s Chairman, Kayode Idowu, noted that the commission could not take any decision to postpone the planned election based on what it had read or heard from the media, adding that it had not received any communication to that effect.
He noted that the problem facing the election could not be said to be from the commission, noting that rather than encouraging voters to pick their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) which were lying at the commission’s offices at the various councils , people were busy blaming INEC of not meeting up with challenges of distribution of the PVCs.
“Yes we have heard the call by the NSA that the election should be postponed, but the commission has nothing to say or do in respect to that call since it is only coming from the media. For us at INEC, it is work in progressing as we are preoccupied right now with final preparations for the elections.
“The commission is very busy planning for the great task ahead and cannot listen take decisions based on statements from the media,” Idowu noted.
According to Jega, the era of ballot box snatching is over with the PVCs, as the election would be recorded to ensure that politicians who snatch ballot boxes would find them useless.
He was, however, quick to admit that the only problem facing the Commission was how to ensure speedy distribution of the cards, noting that the Commission was committed to the exercise and promised that the setback the Commission in previous elections were being worked on with a view to correcting them.