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Our fears for 2019 general election — INEC

By Paul Osuyi, Asaba on 11/10/2018

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•INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mahmood
•INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mahmood

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday in Asaba, Delta State said the desperation of politicians to win elections at all costs resulting in do or die mentality is a serious threat to the 2019 general election.

Besides, the commission said the growing epidemic of vote buying, incendiary speeches by contestants and the atmosphere of mistrust resulting in security challenges were threatening the credibility of the forthcoming poll.

Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Yakub Mahmud raised these fears while delivering a keynote address at the ongoing 14th All Nigeria Editors’ conference with the theme: ‘Credible Elections, Sustainable Democracy and the Nigerian Media.’

Represented by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, Mahmud said the do or die mentality remains a major source of concern and worry ahead of the 2019 elections, adding that vote buying constitute violations of various of provisions of the laws.

He said hate speeches had already charged the political atmosphere, noting that stakeholders must avoid actions that would bring about breakdown of law and order.

“The general election is more complex. The commission has been engaging various security agencies under the auspices of ICCES for cooperation in securing the election environment and for absolute neutrality in the 2019 elections,” he stated.

He, therefore, charged the media as the watchdog of the society, to protect public interest against abuse by those entrusted with power and resources of state, as well as hold election manager to account to ensure that electoral rules are obeyed.

Mahmud tasked the media to educate voters on their democratic rights; report development on campaigns; provide platform for political parties and candidates; provide platform for the public to communicate their concerns; report election results, and scrutinize the electoral process.

On the preparation for the elections in 2019, Prof. Mahmud said the commission “has improved on the deployment of personnel for elections, addressed some of the intractable challenges to the functionality of new technological innovations for elections and able to collate, transmit and declare results of elections more accurately and speedily.”
He said in 2019, INEC will consolidate on technological innovations in the electoral process, noting that the current electronic register of voters “is the most robust so far.

Excerpted from Daily Sun report


Source News Express

Posted 11/10/2018 7:05:07 PM





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