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What INEC must do ahead of rescheduled elections – APC

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Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Directorate of Election Planning and Monitoring, has demanded more transparency from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The party urged the commission to be open in its dealings ahead of the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Director of the Directorate and Minister of Power, Works and Housing made the demand at a news conference on Sunday in Abuja.

He was reacting to the postponement of the elections by INEC.

Fashola said there was need for the commission to keep Nigerians updated on preparations for the rescheduled elections. He also demanded more transparency.

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“As a result of the common pain shared by us all, we demand greater openness and transparency in the Commission’s preparations ahead of Saturday 23rd February 2019 elections.

“We believe that members of the public should know what steps INEC have taken with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to assess, take inventory of materials and what their conditions are,” he said.

He added that the commission should also let Nigerians know if all materials required for the elections were in the country and if not what plans it had to ensure that they were on ground.

He further added that the commission’s plans to redeploy and distribute materials ahead of elections should also be made known to Nigerians.

Fashola said INEC should also let Nigerians know what it encountered in the failed election attempt of the Feb. 16 and measures taken to overcome them.

He added that the commission should also confirm to Nigerians that the configuration of its card readers would be completed in readiness for the rescheduled elections.

He said it was also necessary for the commission to let Nigerians know what transport logistics and further materials it required in terms of vehicles, boats, trucks, airplanes, helicopters, manpower and funding to execute the elections.

“In addition to all of these, we believe that INEC should brief Nigerians daily on an ongoing basis until this process is concluded.

“This is one way to elicit the buy-in of Nigerians that INEC is serious and this will replace disappointment with enthusiasm.

“INEC has the duty to now make its processes open, believable and inspiring. This is the road to free and fair elections which is a victory for Nigeria and not for any party,” he said.

The minister said that elections and political parties were primarily about people.

He noted that before the elections were postponed, millions of Nigerians had sacrificed their time, resources and convenience to perform their national civic duty only to be disappointed by the postponement.

He added that as a political party, the disappointment of the APC was doubled.

This, he said was especially so because unlike some who were privy to the postponement, the APC got to know of it alongside the public a few hours before the polls opened.

“To the stranded youth corpers, voters and volunteers who have travelled at great cost to cast their votes, we empathise with you,” he said.

He also empathised with the party’s agents and its members across the federation, saying that they should not be discouraged.

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