By Angela Atabo
The Election Analysis Centre (EAC) of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to affirm to Nigerians that sensitive materials are safe.
The Director CDD, Ms Idayat Hassan in a statement on Saturday in Abuja said that the group’s Election Analysis Centre was surprised about the postponement of elections.
Hassan said that the EAC was worried that certain sensitive materials had already been deployed in various parts of the country.
She therefore urged INEC to urgently affirm to the public that these materials would be safe.
“Our surprise stems from repeated reassurances from INEC that it was fully ready to conduct the elections and that there was no possibility of postponement.
“We recognise that elections represent a huge logistical challenge, particularly as the 2019 elections is the largest in Nigeria’s history and the largest in Africa.
“However, we were hopeful that lessons from the 2011 and 2015 elections would have been learnt by 2019,”
Hassan called on INEC to ensure to take urgent steps to reassure Nigerians and the international community that it would be ready to conduct free, fair and credible elections on the new dates.
She further urged INEC to take advantage of the extra time provided by the postponement of the elections to robustly address any weaknesses in logistics management and public communication.
She said that there was an urgent need to re-energise Nigerians to turnout to vote to avoid voter apathy, adding “we call on civil society organisations and the media to assist in this process.’’
She encouraged Nigerians to not allow the postponement to stop them from turning out to cast their votes next week.
Hassan also urged all members of the international community to keep faith with the Nigerian electoral process and to continue to support Nigeria in preserving democracy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC announced in the early hours of Feb. 16 that presidential and parliamentary elections have been rescheduled to Feb.23 and gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections will hold on March 9., due to logistics issues.