Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday urged members of the National Assembly to pass the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act, which he said would greatly assist in the conduct of the all-important elections.
Yakubu, who spoke during a one day Public Hearing organized by House of Representatives Committee on Electoral and Political Parties Matters on Monday at the National Assembly complex in Abuja, intimated the members on steps so far taken to ensure the 2019 general elections are better than those of the past.
Represented by National Commissioner May Agbamuche Mbu, the INEC Chairman said the early passage of amendments to the election legal frame work was of extreme importance to the Commission for forward planning.
“The early passage and enactment into law the necessary amendments to the election legal frame work are of extreme importance to INEC for the purpose of forwarding planning as the Commissions electoral regulations and guidelines are derived from the legal framework”, he said.
He cited the fixing of the dates for the 2019 general elections well ahead of time; the approval of the 2017–2021 strategic action plan and the inauguration of the Election Project Planning Committee as some of the important milestones which attest to the commission’s commitments towards ensuring hitch-free 2019 general elections.
Speaking on the Continuous Voter Registration currently going on across the 774 local government area offices of the Commission, Prof Yakubu said “…for the first time in the history of the Commission, INEC had commenced the Continuous Voter Registration exercise in the manner prescribed in the Electoral Act”.
He further appealed to the honorable members of the House to sensitize eligible citizens in their respective constituencies on the need to register and vote.
Commenting on the presentation, Chairman of the House Committee on Electoral and Political Parties Matters, Aishatu Jubril Dukku, said the House was committed to carrying out further amendments of the Electoral Act to promote the conduct of democratic elections.
She further noted that the 2015 general elections were remarkable and substantially much better than the previous elections describing it as a turning point in the history of elections in Nigeria.
Dukku assured Nigerians of the commitment of the House of Representatives to amend the Electoral Act in line with our people’s expectations and with a view to strengthening the conduct of elections in Nigeria.