By Patrick Obia
Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Cross River State, Bassey Ita, has opined that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC wants to get it right this time following the recent postponement of the 2019 general elections.
He made the statement while speaking on ‘The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo’ on Hit 95.9 FM Calabar, stating that the electoral umpire has the right to postpone any election if dim necessary.
In his words, he said: “I know naturally that INEC would take time to look at himself very well in terms of preparation before going into the elections. Those issues raised by INEC could be natural phenomenon but then, the question is that if INEC cannot meet all of these issues; logistics , bad weather, court injunctions; if INEC is found wanting in the discharge of all of these to give us credible elections, we are talking about credibility this time, I think INEC wants to get it right.”
Also speaking on the program, the Coordinator, Center for Transparency and Advocacy, Cross River State, Mr. Darlington Edem concurred that the Independent body has the right to cancel elections which many politicians and citizens do not know. He pointed out.
“Let me say that INEC as an electoral monitor has the right to cancel election and many politicians do not understand this. We are operating on the current 2013 electoral Acts; remember that the president had refused to assent the electoral Act sent to him in late last year and that took us back to the Electoral Act. By the Electoral Act, INEC being election monitor has the right as enshrined in that Act to cancel election, even as of the day of the election and that makes the difference between INEC being an election monitor and observers.
“Whatever decision that INEC took, I want to say INEC never went against any known law of the Nigerian constitution.” He affirmed.
Lending his voice, the Peoples Democratic Party Publicity Secretary, Cross River State, Mr. Egbung Odama, urge Nigerians not to be down casted adding that they should go out enmass on Saturday and exercise their franchise.
The PDP Publicity Secretary who joined the program on phone went on to raise alarm over suspicion of foul play calling on the presidency to be transparent and hands off influencing INEC stating that his party is watching with eagle eyes.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in the wee hours of Saturday 16th February 2019 announced the postponement of General election. Revealing that logistics and operational gaps were the reasons for the reschedule.
However, mixed reactions have continued to pour in from different part of the country and Cross River State with some insinuating that it is well scripted attempt to rig the elections by the All Progressive Congress, APC, while some accused INEC of incompetency; calling on Mahmood Yakubu to resign.