2019 Polls: APC Group cautions INEC against shoddy preparations
By Abdullahi Hassan
Against series of assurances by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) restating its readiness to conduct hitch-free general elections, the APC Vote Vigilance Team has cautioned that the process is not jeopardized through abysmal preparations on the part of the electoral umpire.
Leader of the group, Suleiman Ahmed, in a statement on Friday bemoaned what he called the poor preparations of INEC in spite of the budgetary and logistics support from the government.
He said report at its disposals on the field showed that organisers of the elections have not been fully prepared for the exercise, he thereby cautioned that INEC will have no explanation on why the elections should fall short of acceptable standards in view of the huge resources at its disposal.
He said, “Let it be on record that President Muhammadu Buhari as our leader and the APC are committed to ensure that the 2019 general elections are conducted free, fair, credible and acceptable to all in this very crucial election. This informed the total support and independence Mr. President has extended to INEC
“Mr. President has repeatedly assured Nigerians and the international community about his passion to leave a legacy of credibility in our elections and that this election would be fairly won and lost.
“Also to the credit of Mr. President, we recount how the Federal Government has assured stakeholders in this exercise of the commitment and readiness of the government to assist the umpire to fulfill its mandate.
“It is unfortunate at this point to note albeit pathetically, that INEC is yet to be fully alert in its preparations to put appreciable measures in terms of materials and logistics to guarantee that this much anticipated and milestone election would not be affected,” Ahmed said.
He therefore advised that INEC through its acts of omission or commission should not trifle with the general elections to the disappointment of Nigerians and friendly nations watching the democratic development of Africa’s most populous nation all around the world.
The Senate had in October 2018 approved the total budget of N189.2 billion requested by INEC for the conduct of the 2019 elections.
The amount marks a N69 billion increase compared to the 2015 spending by the same body. INEC explained that the differential would allow it accommodate increased numbers of political parties participating in the 2019 elections.