The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed its disappointment in Nigerians, saying their efforts are not appreciated.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the commission’s Chairman, said this while briefing stakeholders on the reason for the postponement of the general elections which had drawn the ire of Nigerians.
Yakubu added, “It is often not appreciated the magnitude of activities that the Commission undertakes during general elections. Not only have we recruited and trained about one million young people to serve as ad hoc staff, but the magnitude of materials mobilised for our elections is also enormous.
“For instance, the commission has printed 421.7 million ballot papers for six scheduled elections, as well as 13.6 million leaves of result forms for the Presidential election alone.
“Indeed, managing 91 political parties and 23,316 candidates for whom votes will be cast in 119,973 polling units by over 84 million voters is certainly astounding. No doubt, preparations for the 2019 general elections have been extremely tasking for the commission.
“It is therefore not unexpected that such a tremendous national mobilisation of men and materials will encounter operational challenges and we have had our own fair share of such challenges. There had been delays in delivering ballot papers and result sheets for the elections which are not unusual.
“However, one must emphasise that all the ballot papers and result sheets were ready before the elections despite the very tight legal timeframe for finalising nomination of candidates and dealing with the spate of legal challenges that accompany it. In this regard, the commission has been sued or joined in over 640 court cases,” he said.
Yakubu said the commission had successfully handled 195 off-season elections between 2015 November, when he took over INEC, and now.
He said ahead of the postponed elections, the electoral umpire was able to register 14 million new voters, print 421.7 million of ballot papers and 14.28 million Permanent Voter Cards in record time as well as mobilise over one million ad hoc workers which would undertake the elections.