The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council Directorate of Contact and Mobilisation has urged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Election Observers to be free to interrogate the electoral process.
The Director of the Directorate, Hajia Hadiza Bala-Usman, made the call while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, when she visited the YAGA Election Situation Room.
“As I mentioned earlier, we are keen to have a transparent, free and fair election, so, we encourage observers, and we encourage any form of interrogation of the process.
“I am here today to lend to the voice of the APC to show encouragement to CSOs, to encourage them to ensure that whatever is happening at the polling units are highlighted for the world to know.
“They should ensure that whatever incidences happen are brought up for the necessary agencies to take action,” Bala-Usman said.
She stressed that highlighting happenings at polling units was necessary to ensuring free, fair and credible elections.
She the directorate was looking forward to INEC to brief Nigerians daily on its preparations for the elections and to ensure that materials were deployed to the right places and at the right time.
On APC’s readiness for the rescheduled elections, Bala-Usman, said:” INEC is the umpire, it will tell us whether there will be further postponement of the elections.
“But as a party, we are ready for the election on Saturday, Feb. 23,” she said.
She, however, said that it was important for the leadership of APC to engage the CSOs to be abreast of what they were doing to ensure free and fair elections.
The director urged security agencies to step up their operations and to provide necessary support and security to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) especially to places it needed to deploy materials.
She said that as Nigerians were coming to terms with the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections to Feb.23, INEC should ensure that the elections was not postponed again.
She stressed the need for functional pre-election situation rooms, adding that political parties and CSOs should put their spotlight on INEC to monitor the movement of election materials.
“As you are all aware, some of the critical errors around voter concerns have to do with election materials, especially sensitive ones that may fall into the wrong hands are open to any form of manipulation.
“So it is imperative that we put a spotlight and follow the sensitive materials as well as follow what INEC is doing,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had few hours to the commencement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections last Saturday, announced the re-scheduling of the exercises by one week.
By the postponement, the Presidential and National Assembly elections now come up on Feb. 23, while the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections would hold on March 9.
Yakubu had said the decision to postpone the elections was taken after a meeting with INEC Commissioners, citing “logistics’’ problems as issues that prompted the postponement.
He said the decision was further necessitated after reviewing the level of the commission’s preparedness for the exercise.
The INEC chairman stressed that postponing the elections was a difficult decision, but was necessary for successful delivery of the elections and to consolidate on Nigeria’s democracy. (NAN)