- INEC says preparations towards the 2019 general elections are ongoing
- The commission says it would not allow itself to be distracted by Governor Nyesom Wike
- INEC says Wike was not someone that could be taken seriously on an issue of national importance
The Independent National Electoral Commission has said preparations towards the 2019 general elections are in top gear contrary to claim by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state.
According to INEC, it would not allow itself to be distracted by Wike, amid the governor’s comment that the commission was not preparing for the next general elections.
This was disclosed by Rotimi Oyekanmi, the chief press secretary to the chairman of INEC, in an interview with The Punch.
Oyekanmi said Wike was not someone that could be taken seriously on an issue of national importance.
He said that INEC was making preparations for the 2019 elections as shown by the recent validation of its Strategic Plan by stakeholders in the society.
Oyekanmi stated further that as part of the move towards 2019, the federal government had appointed 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners while the Senate passed the amendments to the Electoral Act.
He stressed that the commission was focused on its preparations for the conduct of the next governorship election in Anambra state and could not afford to be distracted.
He said: “The Rivers state governor is entitled to his opinion and I think Nigerians know him too well to take him seriously on any issue of national importance.
“But as far as INEC is concerned, our preparation for the 2019 general elections is on course. Stakeholders have just validated our Strategic Plan. The Federal Government recently appointed 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners and the Senate, thank God, has also just passed the amendments to the Electoral Act.
“We have the Anambra state governorship election to conduct later this year. Besides, the re-organisation of the commission is being carried out. So, we are on course and cannot be distracted.”
Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported that Wike said that public institutions like INEC lacked the expected trust, insisting that the commission was only engrossed in a jamboree to deceive Nigerians and to spend money.
Wike said that INEC should use the card reader for all elections rather than use manual accreditation where the card readers failed.
He said: “If we want to get election right in this country, INEC must say where the card readers do not work, elections should be held the next day.
“Nigeria should provide the funds. We should not do the wrong thing because of fund. Some argue that this thing is also done in advanced countries, but they forget that those places have established institutions and there is trust also. Here, there is no institution and there is no trust.
“In 2019, let me tell you, and mark this day, INEC is not prepared for any election. What they are doing is a jamboree to make sure that they are spending money. They can’t deceive me.”
In the video below, INEC officials indicted for bribery and corruption during the River state rerun elections were arraigned at the Federal High Court in Abuja