The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to do its best to make the 2019 general elections free and fair.
The Lagos State Chairman of IPAC, Mr Kola Ajayi, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday.
He urged the electoral body to build on its achievements on the 2015 elections to give Nigerians more transparent and acceptable polls.
“I want to plead with INEC to build on its achievements in the 2015 elections and give Nigerians a more credible poll.
“The INEC, Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu should try and build on the record of his predecessor, Prof. Attahiru Jega, anything short of that will not be good for our democracy.
“The era of election manipulations is over. INEC should endeavour to make votes count and count well in 2019.That is the only way we can grow our democracy.’’
He commended INEC for the timely release of the full election timetable, saying the release would give a clear direction on the election.
Ajay urged INEC and political parties to adhere strictly to the timetable as a way to avoid problems during the 2019 elections.
“I expect the political parties to be vibrant now that the timetable is out.
“They should play by the rules and guidelines. It shouldn’t be a do-or -die thing,” he added.
Also, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) urged INEC to give Nigerians better elections in 2019.
The Secretary of CNPP in Lagos State, Mr Olumide Oguntoyinbo said a credible poll was good for Nigeria’s democracy.
He commended INEC for early release of the timetable, saying this would help early preparations.
Oguntoyinbo urged strict adherence to the timetable by all stakeholders to build the ground for the success of the polls.
NAN reports that INEC had fixed the presidential election and National Assembly elections for Feb 16, 2019 in the timetable.
Governorship and state legislative elections has been fixed for March 2.
Presidential campaigns are to begin on Nov. 16, 2018 while governorship campaigns start on Dec. 1.
The timetable also states that the last date for the submission of nomination forms for presidential candidates is Dec 3 while the deadline for governorship is Dec. 17.
It also said that all primaries, including resolution of disputes should hold between Aug. 18 and Oct. 7.