The National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on Friday said conclusive polls in 2019 will depend on the voters and not him.
Yakubu said this at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.
He said he would not go against the principles laid down by the Constitution and the Electoral Act in order to please anyone.
He also said the absence of a law prosecuting electoral offenders has made electoral malpractices widespread.
Yakubu maintained that “We won’t conclude elections at all means. But we will only always conclude elections with regards to the laws of the land and the Electoral Act.”
Yakubu dismissed insinuations that most elections conducted under his watch have been inconclusive stating that the former INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega had to postpone even when voting had commenced in some parts of the country.
He said, “I can’t guarantee conclusive elections in 2019. I cannot second-guess Nigerians and I don’t know where they would head in 2019,” adding that he would not step a foot outside what the laws and guidelines dictate for the conduct of elections, urging Nigerians to work with him in ensuring that the polls are conclusive through shared roles and responsibilities.
“The Electoral Act envisages the commission to sufficiently comply. You can’t second-guess any election. You can’t conclude an election on behalf of the people. The Kogi election came within two weeks that we assumed office and with its peculiar challenge. I don’t think anyone should blame the commission, but we found a way out.”