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Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2018

We are determined to sanitize nation’s electoral process -INEC

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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu,

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu,

By Lateef Ibrahim

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said on Tuesday that it remains resolute in its commitment to sanitize the nation’s electoral process and deliver free, fair and credible elections.
This is even as the Commission declared that it cannot be held directly or vicariously liable for an exercise outside its legal purview.
The Prof Mahmood Yakubu – led INEC said this in reaction to videos and pictures showing some underage thumb printing ballot papers in last Saturday’s local government election in Kano State.
The images have been circulating the social media since Saturday.
The Commission, in a statement by its Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, stated that it should be pointed out that Local Government elections are exclusively the constitutional responsibility of the respective State Electoral Commissions, who are in no way under the control or supervision of INEC.
The Commission assured the public that it is doing all it could to ensure a credible election as was once again demonstrated in the Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency election in Katsina State on Saturday.
According to the statement, “The Commission wishes to inform the public that the images do not relate in any way to any election organized, conducted or superintended by INEC. As far as the Commission can ascertain, they relate to a Local Government election conducted at the weekend, and over which we have no legal control or responsibility whatsoever”, the Commission said.
According to the INEC’s statement, “the attention of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been drawn to videos and pictures purportedly showing some underage thumb printing ballot papers in a recent election. These images have been circulating online since Saturday.
“The Commission wishes to inform the public that the images do not relate in any way to any election organized, conducted or superintended by INEC. As far as the Commission can ascertain, they relate to a Local Government election conducted at the weekend, and over which we have no legal control or responsibility whatsoever.
“While the Commission remains resolute in our commitment to sanitize the nation’s electoral process and deliver free, fair and credible elections, we cannot be held directly or vicariously liable for an exercise outside our legal purview.
“It should be pointed out here that Local Government elections are exclusively the constitutional responsibility of the respective State Electoral Commissions, who are in no way under the control or supervision of INEC. On our part, INEC assures the public that we are doing all we can to ensure a credible election as was once again demonstrated in the Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency election in Katsina State on Saturday.
“With regard to the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, the Commission is not unaware of challenges some citizens have encountered in trying to get registered at some of the centers. Steps have been taken to ameliorate these, including the deployment of additional Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines for registration, with the more populated centers getting priority attention.“In addition, the number of registration centers has been increased to 1,446 nationwide. While thanking Nigerians for their patience and understanding, we believe that with the measures taken so far, the queues and other identified challenges will soon abate.
“We once again appeal to those who registered in the previous exercises not to do so again. This is not a fresh registration exercise but an opportunity for those who turned 18 years and those who didn’t register in the past to register as voters”, the Commission maintained.

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