News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Group plans protest march to NASS over INEC budget delay

 

Election Monitor

A Civil Society Organisation, Election Monitor, says it will moblise Nigerians to march to the National Assembly in protest against continued delay in passage of budget for the 2019 general elections.

Abiodun Ajijola, Convener, Election Monitor, in statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said the peaceful protest would be held on Sept. 13.

He said it was unfortunate and completely unacceptable that the National Assembly was considering postponing its resumption until the second week in October because its members were going to take part in political party primaries.

Ajijola queried thee logic in going for primaries and refusing to conclusively approve the budget for the same election the legislators wished to participate in.

He said that Nigerians needed to ask why it was taking so long for the National Assembly to pass the 2019 General Elections budget and the implications of further delay.

The convener said that there was no urgency on the part legislators to pass the budget for the 2019 general elections even as the political party primary window had been open for three weeks.

“Election Monitor wants to remind all members of the National Assembly that they were elected to serve in the best interest of Nigerians. INEC has an approved Election Project Plan (EPP) which guides it in effective election implementation.

“With the current and proposed delays it would be arduous if at all possible to meet all necessary benchmarks within the required timelines.

“Therefore there must be no further delay! The current intentional delay of approving the general elections budget is precarious for the peace and stability of Nigeria.

“Election Monitor and The Movement for Transparent Elections is calling on all well meaning Nigerians to come out for a peaceful march to the National Assembly at 8am on Sept. 13, to demand that the 2019 general elections budget is passed on or before  Sept. 18.

“ Take off point is Unity Fountain Abuja; the Dress Code is white with a touch of green (green cap, hat). You should bring a Nigerian flag (any size is okay).’’

According to him, if there is further delay in passing and releasing the 2019 Elections budget beyond Sept. 18, the group will call for sustained protests daily and simultaneously nationwide until the whole election budget is passed and released to INEC.

He expressed optimism that the nation would overcome every agenda and attempt to truncate the hard-fought democracy.