Ahead of the presidential election scheduled to hold today, the Independent National Electoral Commission has promised a speedy conclusion of the process.
The commission said it was aware of people’s anxiety, noting however that collation and announcement of the result would be done quickly.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this during a media briefing at the National Collation Center in Abuja on Friday.
While answering a question as to when INEC would announce the winner of the elections, Yakubu said, “We will ensure that it is done speedily but I can’t put a finger on the number of days or hours it would take. But it will be done speedily. We are aware of the anxiety and the need for us to conduct the process quickly, so it will be concluded quickly.”
Also reacting to a question on the effect of the naira scarcity on the electioneering, Yakubu said the cash provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria had been distributed to states and would be utilised to pay for unbanked services.
He explained, “It is not all our operations that are paid for by cash. In fact, the bank of our operations for the procurement of work, goods, and services are paid for electronically but we need a small amount of money to pay for the unbanked who render critical services, particularly at the local level.
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“We anticipated this challenge and we interacted with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the CBN promised us that for the little amount that we need to pay for services in cash they will make the funds available to us and they have done so and these funds have already been accessed by our state offices for the election. That’s why the movement of personnel and materials in the last couple of days ahead of the election tomorrow (today) has gone unhindered.
“The processes will not suffer encumbrances. It is not every aspect of our operations that we need to be remunerated by cash. Only a small aspect of our activities will be remunerated by cash.”
Speaking on the death of the Labour Party Enugu East Senatorial candidate, he said, “Remember a party lost its candidate and the law says we should allow the party to replace its candidate if it wishes to continue to participate in the election. So, I expect the party will conduct primaries as early as next week and submit the name of the candidate to the commission.
“It only follows logically that that candidate should also campaign ahead of the election but the law is very clear that campaign for all elections will end 24 hours before the election.”