Prof Mahmood Yakubu,INEC Chairman.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the postponement of Edo governorship election by two weeks would not affect the credibility of election in the date.
INEC Deputy Director for Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Nick Dazang, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja , stressing that the commission was committed to ensuring that the election which was shifted to September 28 does not in any way fall short of previous elections.
He said that the commission had already confirmed its readiness for the election in term of preparation, adding, “what was outstanding was merely the last stage, which is implementation.
“We are prepared in terms of staff needed to conduct the election and adequate training including accreditation for the observer group; both local and foreign, that will monitor the election.
“We have also started accrediting journalists that will cover the election. We have also done much in terms of sensitisation of the voters, political parties and their candidates.
“The postponement of the election does not in any way change our preparedness for the election, neither has it changed our resolve to conduct free, fair and credible election,’’ Dazang said.
Asked about the losses the commission might have incurred due to the postponement, Dazang said that INEC would no doubt incur additional cost; especially in some areas like mobilisation of staff.
“We are calling back about 19,000 staff, we have to pay them again and we might consider retraining them ahead of election, so that they we remember some of the things that we have taught them. That is money.
“We have to pay them for the allowances. We have to pay them allowances for coming back to conduct the election.
“We might have to reprint one or two of the sensitive materials to reflect the new date.
“Thankfully as at the time our attention was called to the advisory, we have not distributed some of the materials,’’ Dazang added.
He hinted that the additional cost to be incurred would not in any way affect the conduct of the election as the commission always made provision for such contingency.
Dazang assured that the commission would continue to engage with the security agencies to ensure that the election was peaceful on the rescheduled date .