INEC, Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission, has reiterated that it will recover from recent attacks on its infrastructure.
This was announced on Tuesday by INEC chairman Professor Mahmoud at a retreat for RECs.
He said, “In the last four months, five of our offices were attacked, buildings damaged, and materials destroyed across the country.
“It worrisome for us because we lost over 1990 ballots boxes, 399 voting cubicles, 24 generators, and quite a number of PVCs among many other items.
“These attacks must stop and the perpetrators prosecuted. Our responsibility is to conduct elections and I want to assure Nigerians that we will recover from these attacks and that the lost materials will be replaced.
“We will continue to work with security agencies, traditional and community leaders, and we’ll meaning Nigerians to stop the attacks. But the ultimate solution is to arrest and prosecute the culprits.
”One of the most painful is the recent attack in Ebonyi State. Staff relocated to the office on Friday and on Sunday the facility was attacked.
“We are confident that we will recover but there’s a limit as to how much we can recover if the attacks continue with 86 days to the general elections.
“We are committed to ensuring that nothing will stop the election from going ahead as scheduled and the will of Nigerian people will prevail.
When asked about allegations that voters can vote without PVCs, Yakubu, a critic of the online report, replied, “For anybody to vote, the commission has always maintained the policy of no PVC, no voting. So nothing has changed and that would violate section 47, sub-section 1 of the electoral act of 2022.
“Any Nigerian who wishes to vote on election day must present his or her PVC to the presiding officer at the polling unit. The policy hasn’t changed and we will be the last to violate the electoral act. So Nigerians should discountenance the insinuation that people can vote on election day without PVC.”
The INEC boss has, however, charged the RECs to be professional in their duties.
He said, “Our success ultimately depends on our integrity. The commission is not a political party, the commission has no candidate in the forthcoming elections. All political parties have equal standing before the commission.
“Our responsibility is to uphold the sanctity of ballot nothing more nothing less.”
“The retreat is to familiarize RECs with the processes and procedures because the election is held in the next 86 days.
ON court judgment to continue with voters registration, he said, ” We have consistently said there’s no court judgment that says INEC should continue voters registration. It’s misinformation and that should also be discountenanced. We have less than 90 days to the election and there’s no court order to resume the election.”