The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that it may consider moving sensitive electoral materials away from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), where they are statutorily kept for safety.
The Commission’s Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made this known on Thursday, 12th May 2022 while fielding questions from newsmen at a Consultative meeting with media outfits in Abuja, the nation’s capital territory.
His comment was tied to the question on the partisanship of the incumbent CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele who is reportedly eyeing the presidential seat.
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While the CBN Governor has not officially declared his intention to run for the topmost seat in the country, there have been campaigns and branded vehicles from faceless groups, urging him to contest. His body language thus far also suggests he is interested in the race.
In the rush for the position under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Farmers’ Association of Nigeria purportedly paid a whopping sum of N100 million to obtain the expression of interest forms and nomination forms for Mr Emefiele.
He had also filed a suit seeking to secure his right to run for the presidency in 2023, without resigning from his current position.
In response to newsmen’s question on the CBN Governor’s partisanship activity in recent times, Prof Yakubu stated that the INEC had started talking on alternative places to store its sensitive materials.
“I understand the context in which the question is asked. But you should also understand the context in which events are unfolding.
“As we speak, our Director, Litigation and Prosecution is in court. There is a case in court. We have been invited to state our own side of the story. We usually refrain from talking about such issues because there is essentially subjudice.
“But we have already started talking about what alternatives are available to us in case we need to change the arrangement for the handling of sensitive materials.” the INEC boss replied.
Prof Yakubu equally vowed not to tolerate any form of jeopardy to the conduct of the election by creating a misconception around the situation in the process.
It’s noteworthy that Mr Emefiele has continued to shun President Muhammadu Buhari’s call for the resignation of all appointees vying for political offices in the impending general elections come 2023.
He met with the president on Thursday, 12th May 2022 at Aso Rock. After the visit, the CBN Governor, who appeared not to be bothered about calls for his resignation, bluntly told newsmen that he was “having fun” with the whole melodrama.
He said, “I am having fun at the scenario. Let them have heart attack. It’s good to have heart attack. I am having a lot of fun.”
Since President Buhari has refused to sack Mr Emefiele in spite of the numerous calls by various Nigerians, both home and abroad, it’s very clear and understandable that the CBN is no longer safe to keep the sensitive electoral materials.
In view of this fact, the INEC needn’t be notified or reminded that it’s compelling for the commission to seek alternative venues. Hence, the expected arrangement regarding the required action ought to be made in earnest. Think about it!
INEC Lamentation Over Voters’ Double Registration, Sundry Issues
Ahead of Nigeria’s 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is currently worried over multiple registrations of voters across the country.
The Head of Voter Education and Publicity in Yobe State, Rifkatu Duku, in an exclusive interview with newsmen on the update of voters’ registration in Yobe State, disclosed that one of the biggest challenges the commission was faced with had been voters engaging in multiple registrations.
She said the commission is not embarking on new registration and therefore did not encourage people who already had voter cards to register again.
According to the Yobe State spokesperson, such an action would amount to double registration and could lead to the disenfranchisement of those involved in the uncalled act.
Mrs Duku, who could not immediately disclose the exact number of unclaimed Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) within their jurisdiction, equally frowned over the situation where many PVCs were yet to be collected by the owners. She said, “a huge number of cards are yet to be collected.
“This is another big problem for us to handle alone. We are going to engage the media and civil society organizations to sensitize the people on the need to claim their cards.” She, therefore, stated that the commission was working hard to curb voters’ apathy.
“INEC usually does their budget based on the projection of voters. In Yobe State for instance, in the last election, we had about 1.3 million voters and that is the figure we have to consider first for the projection of our materials.
“Now in the event where such projection is based on voter’s cards or the number of registered voters, which is always the case, you can imagine the loss the commission will incur if the cards are not collected.” Mrs Duku said.
She further added that the commission would be closing her portal for registration for new members on 30th June this year, while calling on people to make the best use of the remaining time.
Nigerians shouldn’t be informed on the need to ensure they aren’t disenfranchised during the forthcoming general elections. I wonder why they could be clamouring for positive change or transformation in the country, yet not willing to cast their votes at the polls.
For crying out loud, any sane and discerning mind within the shores of Nigeria isn’t meant to be reminded of this lawful task required of him or her as we vigorously await the national ritual.