How court cases disrupted general elections preparations – INEC boss
The Independent National Electoral Commission has explained that the plethora of lawsuits the Commission faced or joined in affected the preparations for the general elections.
“The Commission has been sued or joined in over 640 court cases arising from the nomination of candidates,” INEC Chief
Mahmood Yakubu said on Saturday.
“As at today, there are 40 d ifferent court orders against the Commission on whether to add or drop candidates,” he added.
Yakubu said the effect of the legal challenges coupled with the recent bad weather in the country denied the commission to fly election materials to some locations.
“We, therefore, had to rely on slow-moving long haulage vehicles to locations that can be serviced by air in spite of the fact that we created five zonal airport hubs,” Yakubu said.
According to him, apart from these logistical challenges, the Commission also faced attempts to sabotage its preparations.
“In a space of two week, we had to deal with serious fire incidents in three of our offices in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, Qua’an Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State and our Anambra State Office at Awka,” he added.
“We have strived diligently to keep these promises in very trying circumstances. In keeping with our promise to consolidate the gains of the last two electoral cycles, the Commission has conducted 195 re-run and off-season elections across the country since the last general elections.
“Most of these elections have been generally adjudged to show progressive improvements in planning, execution and outcomes. This commitment to continue to improve on election administration has informed our preparations for the 20l9 general elections,” he stated.
He noted that the Commission’s goal under his leadership was to plan carefully, execute meticulously and bring stability into election management in Nigeria.
He added that in preparing for the 2019 general elections, the commission has grappled with the realities of conducting such an extensive national deployment of men and materials in a developing country like Nigeria.
“It is said that elections constitute the most extensive mobilization of men and materials that any country could undertake in peacetime. The challenges of doing so, even under the best of circumstances, are enormous.
“Within a period of 16 months, we registered over 14 million Nigerians as new voters, collecting their names, addresses, photographs and their entire 10 fingerprints. Beyond that, we prepared, printed and delivered their permanent voter’s cards for collection,” Mahmood said.