The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has ruled out political influence in the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier scheduled to hold on February 16 and March 2, 2019.
Prof. Yakubu said this while addressing stakeholders at the National Election Collation Centre located at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The meeting followed INEC’s announcement in the early hours of Saturday postponing the general elections by a week, less than five hours to the start of the polls.
Giving reasons for the postponement, Prof. Yakubu said, “The decision has nothing to do with security, political influence or inadequate resources”
He attributed the postponement to mainly logistical challenges faced in deploying human and material resources for the conduct of the elections.
The INEC chairman also mentioned as drawback what he described as an attempt to sabotage the commission’s effort, with the fire incidents which ravaged its offices in different parts of the country, the worst being the case in Awka, Anambra State, where over four thousand card readers were destroyed in a fire that gutted the facilities where they were stored.
In attendance at the meeting were prominent personalities including a former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, representatives of election bodies from around the world, as well as local and international election observers and representatives of various political parties.