Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given the real reason behind the one week postponement of the 2019 presidential election, revealing that late release of budgetary allocation, vendors’ error in mixing sensitive and non-sensitive materials made the shift imperative.
In a report on the 2019 general elections, the Commission also blamed the postponement on negligence of some officials at state office that failed to preserve some useable materials like ballot boxes.
INEC equally admitted that sorting and identifying the mixed printed materials was too challenging that some of the boxes had to be broken which unfortunately led to the diversion of materials to the wrong locations, which led to their late delivery.
The Commission lamented the failure of some electoral officers (EOs) to release dedicated funds for proper activation of RACs/collation centres and to ensure the involvement of heads of schools in RAC management.
“The stakeholders drew attention to some of the challenges in the build-up to the preparations for the elections as follows; In the course of clearing the state stores, some materials that were supposed to be preserved such as ballot boxes were all cleared without considering their usability for the conduct of future elections.
“Some states offices later requested headquarters for the same items. The Commission had to make emergency arrangements for their procurement and delivery to the states, which added to the pressure on the eve of the elections.