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Yakubu says INEC will implement direct primary once it’s signed by President Buhari

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By Benprince Ezeh

PROF. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that the electoral body will ensure the implementation of the direct primary as passed by the National Assembly as soon as it is signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Yakubu made this pledge at an interactive meeting with online publishers on Wednesday, November 24 in Lagos, saying that he has the political will to implement any law that will advance democracy in Nigeria.

“By this declaration, the electoral body might have put to rest speculations by opponents of direct primary that INEC may not have the capacity to supervise direct mode of electing party’s candidates if it becomes law.

“Since it emerged that the direct primary clause was included in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, many of you have been asking the commission for its position. But the issue is not about our position, but the process. In the exercise of its constitutional power, the National Assembly has passed the bill awaiting the President’s assent. Once the process is concluded, the bill becomes law, and every person and authority in Nigeria, including the commission, must obey.

“The commission will give expeditious consideration to the law, including the detailed regulations and guidelines for its implementation where necessary,” he said.

Speaking on the just-concluded Anambra State governorship election, the INEC chairman said that despite the fact that the election was conducted under difficult circumstances, the commission was able to conduct a credible and fair election, noting that few technical glitches experienced during the poll would be corrected before 2023 general elections.

Noting that technical issues on some trained ad-hoc members of staff that absconded a few hours to the election and difficulties posed by commercial transport owners hired to carry technical officers to some areas.

“The sit-at-home order on Mondays in Anambra affected the preparation for the election.

“The commission lost everything in Anambra State in preparation for the election when the INEC office in Awka was razed down in June.

“As a result of that, all non-sensitive materials were gotten from neighbouring States, Enugu and Imo.

“I want to reassure Nigerians that we have learned vital lessons from the Anambra pilot. There will be a remarkable improvement in the next major election, which is the end-of-tenure area council election in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, scheduled to hold on February 12, 2022,” he said.

- Nov. 25, 2021 @ 13:08 GMT |

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