Transparency International (TI) has questioned the safety and integrity of election materials that were already distributed before the postponement of the 2019 general elections on Saturday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
TI, which expressed disappointment with the postponement on Saturday, said in a statement by its Nigeria head, Musa Rafsanjani, that the group is worried over the “security of elections materials which had been distributed across the country”.
Rafsanjani, who is also Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, called on the National Assembly to constitute a committee to investigate the sudden postponement of the polls.
According to him, there was a systemic conflict of interests and questionable procurement process in the electoral commission, adding that the postponement had caused the country, civil societies and international community a lot in terms of financial and human resources.
He said: “While we express our disappointment over the poor preparatory processes by the electoral body that hampered adequate deployment of electoral materials to many parts of the country, we condemn the decision (postponement) informed by a deliberate abuse of independent power.
“Given a large presence of youth deployment for anchoring electoral processes and international electoral observation missions across the country, the postponement is a huge setback for the nation’s democracy which may breed electoral apathy and distrust at all levels.
“With the new electoral dates, we are as well worried about the safety and integrity and security of the elections materials which have been distributed across the country.
“We demand adequate security for both materials and human resources deployed by the commission so far to the field to avert susceptibility to violations and attacks by unpatriotic individuals or groups. We call on the commission to tender unreserved apologies to Nigerian and international observers, who are committed their time, presence and financial resources to monitor the electoral process.”