Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu has explained that the commission is not ready to compromise the quality of elections simply because it wants to make them conclusive.
This was as he assured stakeholders in the electoral process that the national electoral body was committed to making sure that elections meet international standards.
The latest edition of INEC bulletin quotes Yakubu as disclosing this during a consultative forum with Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, and the media to address issues around the recently conducted elections by the commission with special focus on the Bayelsa State governorship election, held at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
The INEC chairman, who insisted that the commission would not hesitate to cancel elections wherever there are threats to the lives of its officials, said: “No electoral body will like to go through a repeat of one election or the other. We will like to conclude all the elections on first ballot. Our principal responsibility is to conduct credible elections, not just elections by any means. We have to conclude elections according to the laws.”
Regarding the cancelled Southern Ijaw Local Government election, he said: “Where there are threats to the lives of our officials, we wouldn’t mind applying the law that states that where that is feasible and it has made it impossible for elections to hold, we should cancel the election and re-run same another day. And that was the decision we took. We believe that our principal responsibility as a Commission is to protect the lives of our staff, ad hoc or permanent and also the election material.”
“We agreed that having realized the difficulty with the Southern Ijaw terrain, materials should be delivered directly to the Registration Areas instead of the Local government headquarters,” Yakubu said.