INEC Boss Speaks On Postponement Of 2019 Elections
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, has declared that the date for the conduct of the 2019 general elections remains sacrosanct and wont be postponed, notwithstanding the delay in the passage of the N189.2 billion budget- proposal for the conduct of the polls before the National Assembly.
Yakubu gave the assurance while fielding questions on the implications of the development after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, in the Presidential villa, Abuja, on Friday.
According to the INEC chair, the date for the elections had already been set.
He added that the issue of postponement was, therefore, not being contemplated by the Commission to alter programme.
His words: “I have said this over and over again, there are no conditions under which elections should be postponed, under section 26 of the Electoral Act. The date is formed and fixed, February 16, 2019.
“We issued the timetable way in advance. For the very first time in the history of our nation, citizens of Nigeria know when elections will take place one year in advance. It has never happened before.”
The election umpire also noted that for the first time in the history of the country, Nigerians now know the budget of the electoral commission.
“That budget has never been defended before the National Assembly, and citizens know line by line how much the commission proposed, what the money is going to be spent on, I think I am very happy with this process,” he added.
The INEC boss also clarified that the commission has no budgetary arrangements to accommodate international observers during the 2019 elections in the country.
“There is no such thing. There is no line in the budget for international observers. What we have provided for are the kits, you know the jackets, caps, publication, that we give to international observers, the stickers that are fixed on their cars to be identified on Election Day.
“This is the standard practice. Each country that organises elections provides these facilities for those who monitor elections.“But their accommodation, transportation will be borne by various election monitoring groups and not by the Nigerian government,” he said.