INDEPENDENT National
Electoral Commission,
INEC, maintained
yesterday that only two
political parties out of the
current forty (40) registered
political parties have so far
declared their accounts.
Chairman of the
Commission, Professor
Mahmood Yakubu, made
this known to the media
on Monday, during the
first quarterly meeting of
INEC with the media at its
headquarters in Abuja. He
did not disclose the names
of the two political parties
that declared their accounts.
According to him, “on
INEC auditing the account
of political parties, only two
parties have declared their
account, and what they
said was that they received
nothing, hence they have
nothing to declare.”
Speaking further, he said
that all other political parties
are yet to declare their
accounts to the electoral
umpire, adding, “today we
have 40 registered political
parties; we have received
eighty one (81) applications
from political associations
seeking approval.”
We are in a phase where
we are conducting a new
strategic plan, election
planning and election
management system,
thereby the media is
expected to keep INEC on
its toes, vis a vis asking
questions on updates of
what the Commission has
set out to accomplish.
Meanwhile, the
Commission has set the
time table and schedule of
activities for the Anambra
state governorship election,
2017. Political parties are
expected to commence
campaign on August 18,
2017, while the collection of
forms at INEC headquarters
is slated for August 23 -25,
2017.
The conduct of party
primaries including
resolution of disputes
arising from the primaries
is scheduled for September
18, 2017; publication of
personal particulars of
candidates September
25, 2017, while October
4, 2017, is the last day for
withdrawal by candidates
and replacements by
political parties.
Furthermore, the last
day for submission of
nomination forms by
political parties is October
9, 2017, while publication
of official register of voters
for the election is October 18,
2017; publication of the final
list of nominated candidates
October 19, 2017. Publication
of notice of poll November
2, 2017, submission of names
of party agents November 4,
2017, last day for campaigns
November 16, 2017, while
election date is November 18,
2017.
Also, the Commission has
maintained that as part of its
mandate towards conducting
free, fair and credible election,
as well as the sustenance of
democracy in the country, it
would not shield any official
found wanting for gross
misconduct or abuse of office.
The Commission’s
Chairman, Professor
Mahmood Yakubu, while
fielding questions from
journalists on yesterday
during the first quarterly
meeting of the Commission
with the media in Abuja,
posited that “although some
staff of the Commission were
indicted especially during
the last Rivers rerun election,
INEC in its transparent
manner has done everything
within the ambit of the
law to support the relevant
authorities in the prosecution
of the affected members of
staff.”
Speaking further, the
chairman stated that “the
media is an integral part
of the Commission in the
management of our electoral
processes and consolidation
of our democracy, as critical
stakeholder the media
should also make inputs
so that the collective goal
of consolidating on our
democracy will be further
enhanced.”
On the issue of fixing of dates
ahead of the 2019 general
elections, Prof Mahmood said
that “we cannot continue to
be masters of fire brigade
approach, the Commission
requires time to plan likewise
the media; you have to deploy
resources and logistics ahead
of time. Planning prevents
fire brigade approach.”
“With the economy in
recession, we need to plan
ahead so as to submit our
proposal to the National
Assembly according to
international best practices.
The United States election
dates are known ahead of
time, so also in Ghana and
Kenya, and some other
countries. Again with 70
million voters at the moment,
ours is the second largest
presidential democracy in
the world; so we just have to
plan.”

While reacting on behalf
of the media team present
during the inter-face,
national chairman of Nigeria
Union of Journalist, NUJ,
Abdulwaheed Odusile,
bemoaned the Commission’s
merger of Civil Societies
Organisations, CSOs, with
the media during the last
quarterly meeting with INEC.
According to Odusile, “it
was a misnomer to merge
the civil societies with the
media, because the media
should serve as a watchdog
to the CSOs. The only thing
we need in the media is
information. The media look
for information to disseminate
to the people. As a media, we
don’t have opinion on issues;
we are a mirror that reflects
issues. We don’t create events;
we only report events,” he
added.
We are Nigerians and we are
patriotic; we don’t have any
other country. We want free,
fair and credible election,” he
concluded


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