…As INEC Reads Riot Act to Political Parties in Delta State.
By Miracle Enuji
The Delta State Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Mr. Fred Obi has disclosed that, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has disassociated itself from the trending comments on the adoption of electronic voting for the 2019 General Election, stating that the current system of voting will still be maintained and urged Deltans to discard such information.
Obi who made this position known to Journalists at the end of a closed door meeting of Officials of INEC in the State with IPAC on Monday, 29th January 2018, at the Commission’s State Headquarter in Asaba, said; “This issue has been addressed by the Administrative Secretary of INEC. We are still going on with our system of voting, not electronic system this time. The INEC Officials have debunked the insinuation of electronic voting”.
He commended INEC for orchestrating a robust synergy with Political Parties in the State towards the 2019 General Elections and assured the Commission of the Parties adherence to the requirements as contained in the Constitution.
Speaking on the absence of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) at the meeting, the IPAC chairman said, “it is unfortunate, they might have their reasons and I will contact their chairmen and those in charge to find out why they failed to attend”.
Earlier, the Administrative Secretary of INEC in the State, Mrs. Rose Oriaran-Anthony, informed the Party Chairmen that the Commission will commence the verification of the physical address of all political parties in the state owing to the large default of some parties operating from unrecognized locations.
“The Commission will embark on a physical verification of all Political Parties State Offices and executive Officers in Delta State. This exercise will enable INEC to know where your office is situated so that we can reach you with ease whenever we need to. Please be reminded that your office should be in the state capital.”
While re-echoing the responsibilities of INEC in the electoral system of Nigeria, Mrs.Oriaran-Anthony cautioned political parties to adhere strictly to the provisions guiding the operations of political parties in the country as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Electoral Act of 2010 (as amended).
She said; “There are some parties who flaunt even their own Party Constitution on Congresses and Primaries, encourage internal wranglings and strife. Invariably, all these hurt the electoral process. There are also some parties who are constantly changing their Chairman or trying to change the existing status quo without the expiration of their tenures. There are many other issues such as non-submission of contact address, phone numbers, email address, Party Constitution and Certificates of Registration. The Commission would like parties who have been in default since they registered their presence in the state to rectify”.
The Administrative Secretary further implored the Political Party Leaders to foster the campaign on Voters Registration as 2019 draws near, noting that more registration centers have been created to level the challenge posed by long distance travels within Delta State.
In her words; “As partners in the electoral process, you know very well the importance of the voter’s card for every eligible Nigerian Voter. We therefore hope that you will continue to partner with us in driving home into the consciousness of your grassroots supporters, the need to be part of the greatness we envisage for our nation by registering and making their individual impact in the polity, either as voters or potential candidates. Encourage them to go to the nearest INEC office, or Registration Centers close to theme to get registered.”
The meeting which was widely attended by Party Chairmen in the State, marks the commencement of electioneering activities in the build up for the 2019 General Elections in Nigeria.