Nigeria’s EC ready to hold general elections

Independent Electoral Commission
Independent Electoral Commission

With barely one month to the upcoming general elections in Nigeria, the country’s electoral body has said it is ready to conduct free, fair and credible polls.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said in a statement reaching Xinhua on Thursday that at the moment, it was putting finishing touches to the preparations for the elections.

“We are good to go for the general election,” said the statement by INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu.

According to Yakubu, all heavy items for the elections are being procured; additional ballot boxes, voting cubicles, replacement of (voters) card readers, and Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) have also been delivered to states for collection by the electorates.

In addition, he said the electoral body had concluded and published the guidelines for the general elections and finalized the manual, which would be used for training of various staff for the elections.

The electoral chief said the commission had started recruitment and soon-to-start the training of ad hoc staff for the elections.

“We are not going to fail the nation and the international community in the conduct of the elections,” Yakubu said.

“The elections will be credible; we will guide the process and ensure that it leads to the outcome that all Nigerians expect,” he said.

“Nothing, but free, fair and credible elections,” he added.

A total of 22,643 political candidates, representing 91 political parties, will contest for 1,504 positions during the general election next month.

Out of that figure are 73 presidential hopefuls and 1,158 seeking governorship positions in 29 states.

The electoral body earlier confirmed 1,886 candidates had been greenlighted to contest in the 109 senatorial districts across the country and 4,634 candidates contesting for the 306 House of Representatives seats.

Another 14,643 candidates would contest for 991 posts in the various state houses of assembly.

During the general elections, six local government chairmen and 62 councilors will also seek election in the capital city of Abuja.

The electoral body said last week that more than 84 million Nigerians, representing about 42 percent of the country’s 198 million population, had registered to vote in the general election.

The current figure is also about 15.2 million more than the total of 68.8 million Nigerians who voted in the 2015 general elections.

An official statement earlier said 850,000 personnel, including ad hoc staff, would be trained for the general elections.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, will hold the general elections on Feb. 16 to elect the president and national assembly members, and March 2 to elect state governors and state houses of assembly members. Enditem

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