BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Wednesday expressed concerns over what he described as an “emergency approach” being taken towards the 2019 elections.
Dogara, who stated this during a meeting of the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu said that the Federal legislature is committed to free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
He also said that the National Assembly members are committed to an electoral process that will better the experiences of the 2015 general elections.
The Speaker challenged INEC to ensure that the standards recorded during the last election circle in 2015 are improved upon.
He further said; “We have already set a standard where the world has avowed our electoral process to be fair to a certain degree and we must not go below that standard.”
The Speaker pledged the commitment of the National Assembly to enable INEC achieve this goal through appropriation
“As leaders of the National Assembly, we are committed to appropriating whatever is needed within the confines of the resources of the nation for INEC to be able to actualise this and that is why this meeting is important.
“However, personally, I have some questions that I intend to raise, but I will raise these in the process of discussion because it appears that we are treating this 2019 election as an emergency, which it ought not to be. So, that is just my concern.”
Speaking in turn, INEC Chairman, Professor Yakubu, said the electoral commission is now re-energised and more reassured of its plans for the 2019 general elections which he said are absolutely on course as far as funding is concerned.
Yakubu stressed the need to act quickly, especially as elections are “exactly a hundred and ninety-one days away”.