As a result of the fallout of the recent party primaries, the Independent Electoral Commission has said that it had been dragged to court about 200 times.
Chairman of the electoral body, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the disclosure when he delivered a keynote address at the 6th Convocation Lecture of Oduduwa University in Ipetumodu on Tuesday.
Speaking on the topic, “The Independent National Electoral Commission and the Challenges and Prospects of Leadership Recruitment for Good Governance in Nigeria,’’ Yakubu said INEC was however prepared for the 2019 elections which he said would be credible.
“As we are approaching the general elections, the commission is more than prepared to conduct election that will be acceptable to all and sundry and the international community.
“In all fairness, the commission has drastically leapt up from where it was when democratic rule was resurrected in 1999,” he stated.
Yakubu identified growing trend of vote-buying, do or die political mentality, absence of internal democracy in political parties and poor management of intra-party contests as some of its challenges.
According to him, other challenges faced by INEC were incendiary speech, insecurity, impunity and lack of consequences for electoral offenders.
Meanwhile, politicians itching to purchase the Permanent Voter Cards to circumvent the electioneering ahead of the 2019 general elections have been told to perish the thought as the PVCs were not for sale.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Oyo State, Mutiu Agboke, made this known while addressing an enlarged stakeholders’ election forum organised by the INEC in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency on Tuesday in Ibadan.
He warned politicians in the state not to rely on any official of the commission for their victory in the 2019 general elections.
Agboke, who informed that the commission was ready and prepared for credible elections, however warned that politicians should not look for PVCs to purchase as none was available for sale in the state.
He said, “INEC in Oyo State is ready and prepared for credible process and hitch free elections in 2019. We shall allow a level playing field to all the political players. Our smart card readers cannot be pre-loaded. Our PVC cannot be cloned. I appeal to you all to persuade your followers and loyalists to collect their PVCs. These PVCs and the smart card readers are the game changers. It is principle of one man one vote.
“The youths of Oyo State should shun any act of thuggery and hooliganism. No youth should allow anyone to use him as an instrument of electoral violence. I assure you all that your vote will count in 2019 in Oyo State. I implore you all to allow the peaceful co-existence of all of us to continue notwithstanding our diverse political affiliations.”
Agboke further informed that the commission registered 91 political parties but only 47 of these parties had presence in the state.