INEC Chairman talks tough, warns APC and PDP

INEC Chairman talks tough, warns APC and PDP

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has warned presidential aspirants to halt campaigns ahead next general elections.

Taking questions from newsmen shortly after unveiling new dates for conduct of the 2023 general elections, Professor Yakubu said the ongoing campaigns by certain chieftains  in the ruling and main opposition parties contravened provisions of the Electoral Act and the Constitution.

He maintained that presidential   aspirants were not expected to indulge in open campaigns until September 28,2022.

Tribune Online checks revealed that chieftains in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who have since declared interest for the Presidency included former Lagos State governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Imo State governor and Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha and serving Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi.

Those who have openly declared interest in the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President,Bukola Saraki and serving Governors of Sokoto and Bauchi states, Aminu Tambuwal and Bala Mohammed.

Professor Yakubu dropped the hint that his Commission would soon summon a meeting with the leadership of political parties to call their attention to infractions to provisions of the Electoral Act and the Constitution by their presidential aspirants.

He said:” This is not just a matter for the Electoral Act, it  is a constitutional provision that there is time frame for commencement of campaign which is 150 days to the election and there is also a period for end of campaigns which is 24 hours to election.

“So, let me seek this opportunity to draw the attention of parties and candidates that the law makes specific definite provisions for the commencement of campaigns and the end of campaigns and all Nigerians are required to adhere to the provisions of the law including political parties and candidates. What we will do very quickly is to hold a meeting with all the political parties in Nigeria and discussed not only this issue of the campaign but all other issues that require the attendance of political parties as provided for in the Electoral Act 2022.”

On the electronic transmission of results, the INEC Chairman assured Nigerians that his Commission was fully prepared for it.

“From the pilot we conducted, transmitting results to our portal we have covered all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, we have no challenge, whether it is remote,  rural place or urban areas in transmitting results. So, that convince us that we can transmit results by uploading polling units level results to the aerial portal in all the 176,000 locations nationwide, remember, we have polling units in over 176,000 locations. So, we are encouraged by the pilot we have conducted and we have no doubt, we can transmit results from all the polling units.”

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