By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – Ahead of the 2019 General Elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has pledged to make public the manifestos of all political parties to allow Nigerians make informed choices at the polls.
Chairman of Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the appeal when he paid a courtesy visit on the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority NTA, Mallam Yakubu Ibn-Mohammed, in Abuja.
According to a statement from the commission, the INEC Chairman said: “as a body saddled with the responsibility of registering and regulating Political Parties, we would like equal access for all political parties in Nigeria. As far as the commission is concerned, all political parties are of equal standing with the Commission.
“The Commission will very soon put up the manifestos of all political parties on our website, so you have access to manifestos in engaging with the political parties and candidates, ask them questions around what they want to offer the country rather than mundane issues.
“This we believe will also help convey the message of what distinguishes one political party from another and will also help us to focus more on issues rather than personalities,” he added.
The Chairman also spoke of the revamping the National Inter-agency Committee on Voter Education and Publicity (NICVEP) ahead the General Elections. He noted that the collaboration with the Media in the past on Voter Education and Publicity had greatly impacted on the success of elections and sought for deeper collaboration.
“As we approach the 2019 General Elections we also need to engage big time with the media so that we will all continue to be partners in the business of Voter Education and Publicity. The Commission is determined to activate what we call the NICVEP (National Inter-agency Committee on Vote Education and Publicity) which the NTA, other media organizations and professional media bodies are part of”, the Chairman said.
Also, the Commission would in accordance with the Continuous Voter Registration CVR procedures, commence the display of list of citizens captured in the first quarter of 2018 of the exercise on the 26th March 2018.
The 5-day display exercise which would end on the 20th of March marks the end of the first quarter of the CVR exercise in 2018; while the second quarter resumes in April.
The Display is aimed at giving citizens who registered from the 8th of January 2018 to the 23rd of March 2018, the opportunity to cross-check their registration details for possible corrections.
Yakubu appealed to citizens to make good use to the opportunity to verify the details of their registration.
“We hope that citizens will avail themselves of the opportunity to help us look at the register and draw the attention of the Commission to the presence of any ineligible persons so that we continue to tidy up the register,” he said.
The second quarter of the CVR exercise for 2018 would commence on the April 3, 2018.
Also, in conformity with its tradition of bringing the CVR exercise closer to citizens in states preparing for end-of-tenure Governorship elections, INEC would devolve the CVR exercise in Ekiti and Osun states to the Registration Area from Wednesday 11th, April to Monday 16th, April 2018.
The six-day exercise would afford more citizens the opportunity to get registered in both states, ahead of governorship elections in July and September 2018 in the respective states.
The Commission would then display the register of citizens captured within the 6 day period from Tuesday 17th April to Saturday 21stApril 2018.