The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has said the February 25 presidential and national assembly elections as well as March 11 governorship and state houses of assembly polls will hold as scheduled.
He stated this Wednesday while speaking with State House reporters after briefing the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammmadu Buhari on the preparation for the elections at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The INEC boss expressed optimism that there would be no cause for alarm after getting assurances from critical stakeholders that necessary measures would be taken to ensure that the scarcity of funds and fuel would not affect the coming elections.
On what he discussed at the meeting, Professor Yakubu said: “It is a general briefing, it’s in keeping with the tradition that on the eve of major elections, general election in particular, the Commission is invited to brief Council. It is also invited to brief the Council of State. The briefing for the Council of State is going to take place on Friday the 10th. So, basically, it’s about the readiness of the Commission to conduct the elections.
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“So, we took members of Council through all the preparations that we have put in place for the election and the few challenges that we are facing and the steps that we have taken to address those challenges.
“I can tell you two of these challenges quickly. The first one is availability of petroleum products. We had a meeting with the National Union of Road Transport Workers and they raised that as an issue of concern. Immediately after that meeting, we interfaced with the leadership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and right now, there is a technical committee, working.
“The idea is for them to avail us the use of their over 900 land mega stations as well as floating mega stations nationwide, for the purpose of stocking products to ensure that the Commission doesn’t suffer any encumbrances in movement of personnel and materials for the election.”
He added: “The second one is the currency issue and again, we had an engagement yesterday with the Governor of the Central Bank and he assured us that the Commission will not suffer any encumbrances on that score.
“Fortunately for us, all our accounts, national and state, are held by the apex bank. So, we raised those challenges, but we have found a solution to those challenges. So, be rest assured that the election will hold as scheduled; on the 25th of February for national and on the 11th of March for the state election.”