The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, a civil society organisations (CSO) working in support of credible and transparent elections, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to conduct staggered elections.
There are reports that the commission may resort to this as a result of some logistics challenges. Electoral materials did not get to some states early enough.
In a statement on Saturday, Clement Nwankwo, executive director, Policy and Legal Advocacy
Centre (PLAC) and convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, expressed disappointment that INEC could experience such setback despite saying it was fully prepared for the exercise.
“The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room hereby expresses concern over reports of delay in the distribution of election materials in several parts of the country by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2019 Nigeria General Elections,” the statement read.
“Reports reaching Situation Room indicate inadequacy in the deployment of materials for the polls. Against the background of assurances given by INEC on its preparedness, this current situation comes to us as a disappointment. Situation Room calls on INEC to be upfront, truthful and transparent with the Nigerian people with respect to the challenges they are facing that may affect the polls.
“The Situation Room wishes to state categorically that any assessment or decision by INEC regarding the polls or challenges with materials must be made with respect to the whole country and not in any way focused on some parts of the country. Any suggestion that the election be held in a staggered manner will be totally unacceptable, and would be a recipe for a disastrous election.
“INEC owes it to Nigerians to provide clear explanation on why we are having conversations about deployment of materials in this late hour. The credibility of election depends not just on the efficiency of INEC to manage its processes but also in its ability to communicate honestly with the stakeholders. We call on all stakeholders especially the political parties to approach any challenge this process throws up with patriotism and commitment to peaceful and legal resolution of conflicts.”