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Elections’ll hold as scheduled, INEC chair reassures FG


Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured that the general elections would hold as scheduled on February 25 and March 11.

Its Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure after briefing the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on the readiness of the commission for the polls.

He said the briefing was in line with tradition even as he outlined measures the commission has taken to address the challenges that may affect the conduct of the elections.

Said Mahmood: “It was a general briefing. On the eve of major elections, the commission is invited to brief the council. It is also invited to brief the council of state. The briefing with the council of state is going to take place on February 10.

“So basically, it is about the readiness of the commission to conduct the election. So, we took members of council through all the preparations that we have put in place for the election and the few challenges that we are facing and the steps we have taken to address those challenges.”

The INEC boss listed petrol and naira currency as major challenges to the polls saying steps have been taken to mitigate these challenges so the elections would hold successfully.

“I can tell you two of these challenges quickly; the first one is availability of petroleum products. We had a meeting with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and they raised that as an issue of concern. Immediately after that meeting, we interfaced with the leadership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and right now there’s a technical community working. The idea is for them to avail use the use of their over 900 land mega stations as well as floating mega stations nationwide for the purpose of stocking products to ensure that the commission doesn’t suffer any encumbrances in movement of personnel and materials for the elections.

“The second one is the currency issue. Again, we had an engagement yesterday with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). And he assured us that the commission will not suffer an encumbrances on that score. Fortunately for us, all our accounts, national and state are with the apex bank. So, we raised those challenges and we have found a solution to those challenges. So, rest assured that the elections will hold as scheduled on the 25th of February for national and on the 11th of March for the states elections.”

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