By Udora Orizu in Abuja
61 political parties have rejected the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) election guidelines for this year’s general election.
The political parties, which are in disagreement with INEC, claim that over eight obnoxious clauses were inserted into the election guidelines that will ruin the 2019 elections, adding that Amina Zakari should also be redeployed as head of collation centre and replaced with Federal Commissioner in charge of Operation, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu, to ensure credibility and balancing.
In a statement Firday, the National Publicity Secretary of IPAC, Ikenga Ugochinyere, stated that the political parties demanded retention of 2011 and 2015 separate accreditation time and separate voting time to help forestall rigging with the presence of voters at the polling units instead of INEC 2019 simultaneous accreditation and voting.
Ugochinyere said the signed resolution and petition to the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, and his federal commissioners by the 61 political parties (majority of Nigeria 91 political parties) was submitted to INEC leadership at the end of the emergency meeting of the country’s party leaders.
He noted that the political parties demanded announcement of accreditation figures by 12noon on election day and recorded in a signed form and given to party agents before voting starts to forestall manipulation of election figures during collation.
In his words: “Political parties demand stoppage of PVC collection 10 days to election and disclosure of the total number of PVC collected on polling unit basis to political parties. Political parties reject the clauses in the guideline which allow unduly accredited voters to vote, especially the clause that allows voters with PVC whose name is not in the register of voters to vote.”
“Political Parties demand transparency in collation and transmission of results with accredited representatives of election observers and political parties monitoring and reject the creation or usage of secret polling units called voting point settlement and demand full list and location of such units.”
He further said that they insisted that INEC must meet with party chairmen before final release of the election guidelines, adding that INEC should desist from the use of former youth corpers and staff of federal government agencies as ad hoc staff.
“Parties threaten to pass vote of no confidence on INEC chairman if he goes ahead to release the contentious guideline on Monday, January 12, 2019 without further consultation with political party chairmen.”
Ugochinyere similarly said he was concerned about how INEC will react and determine the fate of the 2019 election which seems to be rocked by major crises.