After the tongue lashing by virtually all segments of the public for last Saturday’s last minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday began the public confidence rebuilding process, telling Nigerians that it is now ready to hold the poll rescheduled for Saturday nationwide.

Its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in his first progress report told the media in Abuja that the hitches that caused the poll shift have been cleared and that the fresh time-lines for the conduct of the election are now being met.

Specifically, he said the commission has achieved 98 per cent reconfiguration of its smart card readers, saying it is a significant milestone towards the conduct of the election and assured that the remaining two per cent would be completed today.

Responding to media reports that a couple of its senior officials are being quizzed by the Department of State Security (DSS), raising fears that the commission’s work might be hampered, Yakubu denied the reports and said no director or national commissioner of the commission has been arrested by the DSS.

However, Akelicious’s checks revealed that six senior staff members of the commission, including Professor Okechukwu Ibeano, Mr. Festus Okoye, Mr. Osaze Uzi and others, were invited by DSS for a chat.

But Yakubu stated: “No commissioner of the commission was picked up by any security agency; no house of any commissioner of INEC was raided; no any commissioner of INEC has been picked up by security agencies. The particular commissioner you are referring to that was mentioned in the social media is as we speak, in his office in the commission. Similarly, no six directors were picked up by any security agencies.”

The chairman revealed that by 4p.m. on Monday, all issues relating to the delivery of the materials were identified and virtually addressed.

According to him, “Last Saturday, the commission, after extensive review of our preparedness for the 2019 general election, decided that it was necessary to reschedule the elections by one week.

‘’As I explained to stakeholders, we were constrained to shift the polls due to severe challenges and lapses we experienced with arrival and distribution of sensitive materials, as well as the fires that gutted some of our offices in quick succession, destroying several election materials.”

He said INEC had identified six areas covering three broad areas like deployment of materials, movement of personnel and reconfiguration of smart card readers.

Yakubu said: “Let me, therefore, present to you the level of implementation so far achieved as follows; by 4p.m. yesterday, all issues relating to the delivery of the materials were identified and virtually addressed. Ballot papers, result sheets and a host of non-sensitive materials are now in location across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Our state offices commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the Central Bank of Nigeria to examine the retri… Read more

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