Why we set up a separate logistics committee for 2019 elections — INEC

FILE: From left: INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Antonia Okoosi-Simbine; INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu; and another INEC National Commissioner, Mr Festus Okoye, during the INEC Chairman’s meeting with Electoral Commissioners at the INEC headquarters in Abuja on Thursday (6/9/18).
FILE: From left: INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Antonia Okoosi-Simbine; INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu; and another INEC National Commissioner, Mr Festus Okoye, during the INEC Chairman’s meeting with Electoral Commissioners at the INEC headquarters in Abuja on Thursday (6/9/18). 04808/6/9/2018/Hogan Bassey/NAN

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained why it set up a separate ad-hoc committee for logistics.

Mr Yakubu set up the advisory committee three months to the polls.

Okechukwu Ibeanu, who heads the commission’s operations and logistics department, was not part of the 15-member advisory committee.

The committee is headed by a national commissioner, Ahmed Mu’azu, a retired Air Vice Marshal.

Mr Yakubu’s INEC has come under intense criticisms after Saturday’s last minute postponement of the polls.

The commission blamed logistics for the reschedule, making many Nigerians question the need for, and the composition of, a separate ad hoc logistics committee.

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, Mr Yakubu explained that there were two committees before 2015 handling election operations and logistics separately, but that were merged in 2015.

“There is a committee system called electoral operations and logistics but in 2015 that committee operated as electoral operations distinct from logistics committee and they are headed by two different commissioners but in 2015 the two responsibilities were combined and one commissioner was appointed to be responsible for that,” he said.

He said the commission ahead of 2019 decided to create another committee to ease the committee on electoral operations the stress of handling both responsibilities.

According to him, the committee on election operations handles the guidelines and regulations of conducting election, and conducting off season elections, among many other roles, while that of logistics focuses on the movement of materials to the necessary location.

“As we approached the 2019 general elections, we thought that instead of separating the two committees, we should allow the elections operations committee to continue with its function for electoral operation which includes many things including the revision of regulations and guidelines for conduct of elections, and the conduct of many off season elections.

“The committee retained its responsibilities for electoral operations but the commission decided that the responsibility for handling of logistics, basically the moving of materials to states, should be under a committee of the commission which is an advisory ad-hoc committee which I publicly inaugurated.

“It was a decision of the commission not to saddle the committee on electoral operations with the responsibility of handling logistics as well,” he said.

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The commission said learning from the experience of last week, it has started delivering some of the critical materials to the states.

“Only two days ago, we delivered all ballot papers to the North Central geo political zone, as we speak they are moving materials for the North West geo political zones to the various states.

“They are also moving materials for state assembly elections for the South West geo political zones. By the 28 of this month 9-10 days to the election on the March all materials will be in location,” he said.

The chairman also said the details of all collected PVCs will be available on the commission’s website on Wednesday.

“This information will be available, we will tidy things up today, and tomorrow the information will be on the commission’s website.

“The total number of persons registered, the total number of PVCs collected and the breakdown of number of PVCs collected,” he said.

Mr Yakubu said there will be daily briefings by 3pm everyday till the day of election to keep everyone updated about INEC’s efforts towards a successful election.

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