Why we postponed FCT area council election

Prof. Jacob Jatau

Prof. Jacob Jatau

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that its inability to recruit ad-hoc workers for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Area Councils’ election earlier scheduled for yesterday, March 19, 2016, led to the postponement.

The FCT Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Jacob Jatau, who announced the rescheduling of the poll to April 9, 2016, at an emergency stakeholders meeting, said the commission is committed to ensuring the conduct of free, fair and credible elections, adding that INEC is also determined to deliver qualitative electoral services to Nigerians resident in the FCT.

Jatau said the commission has reviewed its preparedness to guarantee the required results and in keeping with its policy on transparency, decided to brief stakeholders on the challenge it has encountered in the recruitment of ad-hoc workers for the election.

He said over a period of time, the commission has collaborated well and enjoyed cordial relationship with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), but now it is facing challenges, as the commission has not been able to get the required number of corps members for the election scheduled for March 19.

Giving the challenge, Jatau said, it consulted the authorities of the University of Abuja to get the balance of the required number of ad-hoc workers, which has been received, adding however, that it is not possible to adequately train and deploy them for the exercise.

He explained that in the light of the development, it has decided to shift the elections by three weeks. He called for the understanding and support of political parties and other stakeholders since the new date is still within the time allowed by law.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has, however, kicked against the postponement, stating that INEC has no valid reason for such decision.

According to a statement issued by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh on Wednesday said the electoral umpire has no genuine excuse, except the fact that the PDP and its candidates are more popular and set to sweep the polls.

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