Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said its decision to release the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections in earnest, was to prevent the fire brigade approach that had sometimes characterized some of our elections in the past.
According to Oluwole Ozaze-Uzzi, INEC Director Voter Education and Publicity, in Abuja yesterday, INEC has submitted recommendations to the National Assembly on the Electoral Act, as well as, some other changes Nass will come up with in the constitutional amendments on electoral matters, are parts of its consideration for releasing the timetable for the elections. So that if needs warrants there will be room for adjustment.
Speaking further, Ozaze-Uzzi said; “the last Edo State governorship election, where the poll coincided with the West African Examination Council, WAEC examination of students was an eye opener. Thus, the commission will not want a repeat of such and in the same vein, political parties and other stakeholders, can key into it and see how they can harmonize their programmes to conform with the timetable”.
He stressed that, INEC is really strategizing, from its concluded Strategic Plan and the Strategic Plan of Action for the current electoral cycle and beyond covering the period 2017-2021 as well as election project plan. The commission is moving away from the culture of quick fix.
On the inclusion of Dr. Chris Ngige as APC candidate and the low turn out of voters in last Saturday’s Anambra Central Senatorial rerun, he said; “INEC acted on the order of Court of Appeal which ordered a rerun with the same candidates. The election is a stand alone by-election, the turn out will be generally low”.
Speaking on the newly registered political parties, he said; “once the law stipulates we should register them, so far they meet the requirements we must register them. Presently they are 68 political parties now, but, before 2019 elections some may equally come on board”.