INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmud had earlier warned that the Commission stand to lose six month window for the procurement of some sensitive equipment to prosecute the election if the bill was not considered and passed within this period.
2019: How UK will assist INEC to deliver credible, free and fair polls
United Kingdom International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, has promised that the country would continue to work with Nigeria through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the 2019 general elections are successful.
The minister made the remarks during a meeting with the Chairman of INEC, Mahmoud Yakubu in Abuja at the weekend.
The minister urged the electoral umpire to remain firm and dispassionate in the discharge of its crucial assignment given the importance of Nigeria to Africa and the international community.
Mordaunt said, “Nigeria is Africa’s biggest, and one of its most vibrant democracies. It has made huge progress in recent years ensuring credible, free, fair and peaceful elections. It is vital to Nigeria, her people and to the confidence of the international community that this continues as the country heads towards elections in 2019.
“We are proud of our unwavering support to INEC and civil society, which has ensured that they have been able to make important improvements to the election process.
“We strongly support INEC to carry out its constitutional role, free from political pressure and intimidation, and encourage it to demonstrate neutrality and impartiality in its application of the electoral laws, to build voter trust and confidence. It’s a tough job, but I commend INEC for their efforts to deliver truly free, fair, credible and peaceful elections, that Nigerians can be proud of.
“During this visit, I had the opportunity to meet with civil society groups and hear about their efforts to ensure that women, persons with disabilities and young people are able to embrace politics, and to feel that have a voice and a choice.“
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the best that the All Progressives Congress (APC) can give to Nigerians in 2019 is to conduct one-man one-vote general elections.
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said this when he received the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Bernhard Schlagheck, who paid a courtesy call on the party’s national leadership on Tuesday in Abuja.
Secondus attributed lack of free and fair elections as one of the major causes of crisis in Africa.
“When citizens are deprived of their right to vote that will generate crisis that might be difficult to control”, he said.
“Nigeria is an important country in the continent of Africa.
“The best we can give to our people is election that will be transparent, election that will be credible, election that both local and international community will welcome.
“So, we urge the governing APC that the best they can give this country is to offer one man, one vote,” he added.
Secondus said that Ekiti governorship election scheduled for July would be a test for the APC administration.
He urged the international community to prevail on the APC administration to ensure free and fair elections.
Secondus, however, said that the PDP had embarked on two major platforms: generation next and rescue mission, to protect the party ahead of 2019 general elections.
He explained that generation next was to ensuring mentoring for the youths, while the rescue mission was aimed at salvaging the country.
Earlier, Schlagheck, said he was in PDP as part of a tour of all political parties in Nigeria ahead of the 2019 polls.
The ambassador added that his report would be sent to his country, Germany.