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INEC disowns plan to suspend 2019 elections

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INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reiterated its preparedness to go ahead with the 2019 general election, saying that there is no plan to suspend or postpone it.

The commission made this known in a press release issued by Chief Press Secretary to Chairman of INEC, Rotimi Oyekanmi, to refute allegations that plans are afoot to suspend the polls in responses to inflammatory comments credited to some politicians.

“Our attention has been drawn to a story awash in the media that we may shift 2019 polls over threat of violence. There is no iota of truth in this rumour, because it did not correctly reflect what the Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu said at the meeting.

It is thus clear that at no point during his remarks did the INEC Chairman alluded to the notion that the Commission may shift 2019 polls over threat of violence as the newspapers are peddling. To be sure, INEC has no plan to postpone the 2019 General Elections,” he said.

Earlier comments credited to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had given indications that the presidential election scheduled for February 2019 may not see daylight after all.

Yakubu dropped this hint in an audience with Resident Electoral Commissioner for Osun State who had called to brief him on the level of preparedness for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

According to him, INEC has powers to shelve or suspend elections following threats of violence by some politicians in the country, adding that videos of political campaigns on social media crediting some politicians with threats of bloodshed may result in suspending the 2019 election.

“In fact, the Electoral Act, especially section 26, empowers the commission to suspend election on account of violence or threat of violence. So, we will continue to partner and continue to work with the security agencies as we approach the 2019 general election.

Our meetings are going to become more frequent and regular,” he said, calling on politicians to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner to avert any last-minute cancellation of the election to stress that a synergy by all stakeholders is crucial to maintain the necessary order, peace, and stability that would usher in the elections.

“Elections cannot be conducted in an atmosphere of rancor. We share this great responsibility with the security agencies. Good election is good for this country.

Bad election is a recipe for disaster; we don’t pray for it. So, let us continue to work together to anticipate the challenges and address the challenges because we have the capacity to do so. The nation expects we should do so and once we do so, there will be fewer problems during elections,” Yakubu was quoted.

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