No decision yet on likely fresh postponement by INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission appears to be undecided on the fears that it may not hold the National Assembly election on April 9 in Lagos, Rivers, Ogun, Katsina, Ondo, Jigawa, Anambra, Gombe and Imo states, as reported by THE PUNCH today.
A senior INEC official had told the paper that the planned shift was due to the fact that voting had taken place in some districts and constituencies before the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, announced that the April 2 poll had been halted nationwide.
It was learnt that the other reasons for the third rescheduling of voting in the affected areas included the omission of parties’ logos on ballot papers and shortage of other materials.
Also, it was learnt that the elections might be postponed where serious cases of omission of names in the voter register had occurred.
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, had on Monday confirmed the imminent postponement of the National Assembly polls in some places he described as “isolated areas.”
But when pressed for a definite pronouncement on Tuesday afternoon, INEC said on its Twitter page, “If there are any, a public statement will be released by the commission.”
In an earlier posting on its page on Tuesday morning, INEC had said it remained “committed to running free and fair elections. All efforts are being made to deliver that.”
It also said a meeting involving the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Resident Electoral Commissioners, Directors of ICT and Directors of Operations was under way in Abuja to discuss preparations for the conduct of the National Assembly election on Saturday.
It said the meeting would also discuss the logistics challenges and lapses that forced INEC to move the election from April 2 to April 4 and eventually April 9.
INEC also stated that it was “particularly interested in the wellbeing of corps members” engaged by the commission for election duties. It assured that it would soon take a decision on conditions of service for the corps members.
It also promised to address the omission of names of a number of eligible voters from the list of registrants.
More details later.