The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it would not shift date for the presidential election, despite recent fire incidents that destroyed several Smart Card Reader Machines it originally configured for the 2019 polls.
The electoral body expressed its readiness to conduct the most credible elections in the history of the country, during the unveiling of a central election monitoring hub for Civil Society Organisations, CSOs.
The monitoring centre which is situated at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, will be manned by the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room and foreign election observation groups.
Speaking at the event, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, who was represented by one of his National Commissioners, Mr. Festus Okoye, noted that fire outbreaks that gutted election materials in three of its offices across the federation, constituted a set-back to its earlier arrangements for a smooth conduct of the 2019 polls.
However, he insisted that the set-back was not such that could significantly affect the election process, saying the commission had since made alternative plans to replace over 4, 695 Card Readers that were destroyed on Tuesday at INEC’s warehouse in Anambra State.
He said the commission would not postpone the impending elections for any reason.
According to him, “INEC will be open and transparent through out the entire election process. We are going to be upfront with information relating to our processes and our procedures.
Were ever we have challenges, we are going to be honest with the Nigerian people relating to our challenges.
“In relation to this particular elections, we had some challenges yesterday (Tuesday), but we were able to recover, and as I speak, we are moving all the Smart Card Readers required for the conduct of elections in Anambra State and we are not going to postpone the election in any part of Nigeria on grounds of some of these challenges
“As some of you are aware, this election will be conducted in over 120,000 polling units, and we also have over 50, 000 voting points. The voting points were created to ease the process of voting, especially for the Nigerian people. “
We have over 91 political parties that are registered in Nigeria and 73 of these political parties sponsored candidates for the presidential election.