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Concerns over safety, integrity of election materials


A staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) sits on electoral materials at a local office in Port Harcourt, Southern Nigeria on February 16, 2019 after Nigeria’s electoral watchdog postponed presidential and parliamentary elections for one week, just hours before polls were due to open. The two main political parties swiftly condemned the move and accused each other of orchestrating the delay as a way of manipulating the vote. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Atiku, Agbakoba, Others Want MaterialsSafeguarded
Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the safety and security of sensitive election materials particularly within the period of the postponement.

Atiku told journalists in Yola, yesterday, that Nigerians should be patient till the new February 23 date of the election, and charged INEC to ensure safety of materials.

Former President, Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba said he was very disappointed that INEC postponed the elections without giving Nigerians strong reasons as former INEC chair Prof. Attahiru Jega did in his own case.


Agbakoba added that while Jega assured that election materials will be safe, this time, the INEC chair Yakubu said nothing. “So, I call him to tell us plans to secure and safeguard election materials.”

He said: “If INEC is very proactive, I don’t see how politicians will hijack the election materials and if they do, INEC will simply cancel them, so it will be of no benefit at all.”

On his part, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), in a statement, said with the new electoral dates, he is worried for the safety, integrity and security of elections materials, which had been distributed across the country.

“We therefore call on the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency constitute an ad hoc Committee to investigate the sudden postponement to clear the Commission of public doubt that her decision was not informed by desperate desires of unjust individuals or groups who want to assume or sustain power by illegitimate means.

“We demand adequate security for both materials and human resources deployed by the Commission so far to avert susceptibility to violations and attacks by unpatriotic individuals or groups across the country.”

Imo INEC Retrieves Sensitive Materials Back To CBN
In compliance to directives the Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Francis Ezeonu, ordered retrieval of all the sensitive materials distributed on Friday to the commission’s offices at the Local Councils, back to the Central Bank of Nigeria, Owerri branch, on Saturday.

The Public Relations Officer of the commission in the state, Mrs. Emmanuella Ben-Opara told The Guardian Saturday evening that the retrieval was carried in line with the order from Abuja.

INEC Returns Sensitive And Non-Sensitive In Kwara
The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has returned sensitive and non-sensitive electoral materials in Kwara State meant for the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The Guardian in Ilorin can confirm that the materials from 10 local government areas of the state have since arrived the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) accompanied by the Electoral officers and heavily armed security personnel.

Findings revealed that materials from Asa, Ilorin West, Ilorin East, Ilorin South, Isin, Ekiti, Moro, Ifelodun, Oyun and Irepodun local government areas have been deposited for safety.

Other councils, whose materials were yet to come in at the time of filing this report are; Patigi, Edu, Kaiama, Offa, Baruten and Oke-Ero.

In an interview with reporters, the INEC Resident Electoral Officer, (REC) in Kwara, Malam Attahiru Madami, said that the materials would be collected from the CBN on Friday 22, 2019 and be redistributed across the State ahead of Saturday, the rescheduled date.


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