PRE-ELECTION PRESS BRIEFING BY CENTRE FOR TRANSPARENCY ADVOCACY (CTA) ON THE EVE OF THE RE-SCHEDULED PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS 23RD FEBRUARY 2019, ABUJA.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to conduct the Presidential and National Assembly elections rescheduled to hold tomorrow, Saturday, the 23rdof February, 2019 across the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria. You may recall that the elections scheduled to hold originally on the 16th of February was postponed by INEC a few hours to the commencement of voting in the early hours of 16th February, 2019 due to logistical reasons according to INEC. The shift was greeted with knocks and applause by citizens and politicians. Nevertheless, we commend Nigerians for their commitment and understanding in our collective efforts to achieve rancor free, fair, peaceful and credible elections.
There are few developments since the postponement of the general elections especially, provocative statements and pronouncements by politicians. Some people cited that INEC had four years to prepare and plan for the election forgetting that the INEC budget suffered hugely due to the politics that played out between the presidency and the National Assembly. You may recall that the budget was only approved in October; 4 months to the general elections. It is also important to note that out of the 14 items in INEC programme of activities to realize the 2019 elections, 13 has been successfully executed remaining the 14th which is vote casting.
A few people had called for the resignation of the INEC Chairman or his outright sack by the president. A call we consider as inappropriate, uncalled for and an invitation to anarchy and mischievous means to truncate the electoral process. However, the most shocking statement was the call and order giving by President Buhari to security agents including the Army to shoot on sight anyone seen snatching ballot box(es). The 2010 Electoral Act has stipulated adequate punishment for electoral offences and therefore does not need jungle justice. Unfortunate as this maybe, top politicians sadly are promoting extra judicial killing as a means to an end.
As Nigerians go to polls on Saturday CTA will deploy the already trained 1000 domestic and observers across the 774 LGAs of Nigeria for on the spot and credible reports on the Election Day. Our Situation Room reopens today, 22nd February, 2019 till results are announced. CTA will also organize a post-election briefing where we will share our preliminary findings……CTA 2019 GENERAL ELECTION PRE-ELECTION PRESS STATEMENT