The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) says that the credibility and preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible general elections is not in doubt.
According to the party’s national chairman and presidential candidate, Dr. Abraham Onwubuya Breakforth, the INEC is also the most improved institution and remains one of the most neutral and unbiased umpire in the history of electoral bodies in Nigeria.
The party said aside from being better prepared than even the political parties and their candidates, the INEC has so far exhibited unblemished competence and readiness to conduct the most unbiased election in the history of the country.
“We believe in the credibility, neutrality, and commitment of the INEC to steer the 2019 process to a logical conclusion without any manipulation whatsoever”, he said stressing that doubt about the integrity of the INEC was uncalled for.
The presidential candidate said the FJP was confident that the INEC has done enough in terms of logistics preparation, personnel capacity building and enlightenment of the electorate ahead of the February 16 and March 2 presidential, National Assembly and governorship elections.
On the criticisms trailing the Election Guidelines, the FJP chairman said the party found nothing untoward about it instead it said the guidelines is credible and proactive for a successful conduct of next month’s polls.
It dismissed criticisms against accreditation and simultaneous voting process adopted by the INEC stressing that when the accreditation and voting subsequently was introduced in 2015 it disenfranchised 45 percent of accredited voters.
“In 2015, the INEC introduced accreditation before voting, which led to the disenfranchisement of over 45 percent accredited voters. Out of the 66 million registered voters nationwide in 2015 and 43million accredited only 28million returned to vote.
“The question is ‘where were the remaining 15 million accredited voters?’ The process makes voting cumbersome. Many will be on the line for a long time to get accredited and after they the centre to return but may not, while majority will return.
“But the 2019 guidelines provides for simultaneous accreditation and voting, it safes time, is less cumbersome and no accredited voter will be disenfranchised”, he said.
The party therefore urged political parties and others not to overheat the polity adding instead that they should encourage and support the INEC to conduct peaceful and credible elections.