ABUJA – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied the alleged plan by its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to pass a vote of no confidence on the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
The Chief Press Secretary of the commission’s chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
He described the rumour as “comical and silly’’, saying ”it just shows that imaginations run riot about the way things go on in INEC”.
Idowu said that the shift in the date of the commission’s meeting with the RECs from March 4 to March 11 had nothing to do with a sign of division among the RECs or an agenda to pass vote of confidence on the commission’s chairman.
He said that the commission had since Feb. 10 drew up a programme of how to maximize the additional six weeks it gained from the rescheduling of the election to improve on its preparations.
The press secretary said that meeting with the RECs was an operational meeting scheduled to discuss some electoral matters.
“That kind of thing doesn’t come up in such meeting because the appointment of officials of the commission is not governed by things like that.
“Because it is an operational meeting, the commission had since last week Thursday, March Feb. 26, decided that since there would be field testing of the card readers on Saturday, March 7, the meeting should be shifted.
“The commission said it does not make sense to hold the meetingson Wednesday, March 7, as the RECs are expected to bring in report on the exercise.
“So, it decided that rather than holding the meeting before the card reader test exercise, it should wait for the exercise to hold so that they can bring in their field reports to the March 11 meeting.
“These issues of there is a division and they want to pass a vote of no confidence on Jega is misery and comical.’’
Commenting on on the recent court order on INEC to register a new political part before the rescheduled elections, Idowu said he was not having any information on the judgment.
NAN recalls that a Federal High Court in Abuja had on March 4 ordered INEC to issue a new political party, Young Democratic Party (YDP), registration certificate and accommodate its participation in the March 28 and April 11 elections.
On whether or not the commission will extend the March 8 deadline for the collection of the permanent voter cards following the receipt of additional one million PVCs, Kayode said there was no pronouncement on it yet.
“The commission will make the cards available and once the cards are made available, we will take it to the public domain for collection.
“We have not reached the deadline and the commission has not made a pronouncement regarding that now.
“ As we speak, the deadline is March 8, if anything is going to change, we will make it known.’’(NAN)