Chairman of the committee, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) disclosed this on Tuesday while answering questions from journalists in Abuja on INEC’s early release of the 2019 general elections timetable.
Ndume said the Commission was doing the right thing by setting out target for elections so that it can be well prepared when the election proper takes place. He said he personally encouraged the commission to start early when its leadership.
He said: “When I took over as the chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, I personally encouraged INEC to start preparing for 2019 now. When I looked at the budget of the INEC, I discovered that there was no provision for the 2019 election.“I advised them to make provision for the 2019 election so that such items that are not sensitive and not perishable can be procured in time. It is not good for us to wait until a day or two to the election then we start running helter-skelter for the materials such as the data capture machine or another thing that should be in place.
“I personally believe that this INEC wants to improve on what has been done before and all encouragement and support should be given to them. So, let’s give them a chance.”
Ndume added that, this present government is determined to conduct a credible,free and fair elections, adding that the amendment of the Electoral Act in the National Assembly would give the Electoral Reform committee headed by Senator Ken Nnamani set up by the executive arm of government to come up with acceptable reforms that will take care of some loopholes.
“I know that the President and this government is determined to conduct a credible election because it is the government that has been shouting that the election was not credible and truly elections were not credible except the last one that met minimum acceptability.
“For the Senate, we only have two clauses left to conclude the amendment of the electoral Act. We have gone very far. In fact, I can say that I am the one that slowed the committee down because we have to do it together with the House and the executive has formed a Committee under the chairmanship of Nnamani, so let us work together in order to come up with generally acceptable reform that takes care of some of the loopholes,” he said
Source: The Guardian