Don’t shift elections again, foreign observers tell INEC

Foreign observers have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to adhere to the new dates it fixed for the conduct of the general elections.

The Transition Monitoring Group, Human and Environmental  Development Agenda and the Election Observation Platform have said elections postponement constituted a threat to the integrity of the nation’s electoral system.

The observers, in their joint statement on the postponement, also called on the commission to inform Nigerians regularly about the preparations for the elections.

A copy of the statement was given to one of our correspondents in Abuja on Saturday.

The statement said, “We, the heads of the international election observation missions and the United Nations present in Nigeria, have taken note of the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission to postpone the 2019 general elections due to logistical and operational challenges.

“While we note that this decision has caused disappointment for many, we call on all Nigerians to continue to remain calm and supportive of the electoral process as INEC works to implement its new timeline.

“We urge INEC to use this time to finalise all preparations and ensure that the new election dates are strictly adhered to.”

The Chairman of TMG, Dr Abiola Akiode-Afolabi, and the Chairman of  HEDA, Mr Suraj Olanrewaju, said this at a joint press briefing in Lagos on Saturday following the postponement of the presidential and the National Assembly elections to February 23.

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre asked the National Assembly to investigate the poll delay.

Also, the Coalition of United Political Parties alleged that  President Muhammadu Buhari was planning to suspend the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu. The coalition made the allegation in a statement by its spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere.

In a statement, CISLAC  criticised  INEC  for the  logistical problems that marred the distribution of electoral materials before the  postponement.
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