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Politicians Biggest Problem of Elections In Nigeria, Not INEC, Says APC Chairman Ganduje

“We have decided to make our party an ICT party.”

The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on Wednesday exonerated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from the challenges of violence and insecurity during elections in Nigeria, saying politicians should be held responsible.

He also said the APC has directed e-registration of members to improve democratic principles.

Ganduje, a former Governor of Kano State, started this during a visit by INEC officials to the national secretariat of the APC for verification.

He said APC under his leadership would be educating its members from time to time so as to abide by the rules of election.

Ganduje said, “It’s important for INEC to undertake the exercise so that they can obtain the viability of political parties for the sake of planning and records and in conformity with the law.

“I know one of the biggest problems of INEC in conducting elections is insecurity. Everyone will say INEC, but it’s the politicians. 

“So in order to understand the rules and regulations of election, in order to understand what is require to be a civilized politicians our institutions will be educating our people from time to time so that they can abide by the rules and it will be going digital. And without the cooperation of our politicians that can be bastardized.”

While assuring INEC of cooperation, the APC Chairman told the commission that his leadership has developed mechanisms to make the party active throughout the year not only during election.

He said, “We have also directed that all our party offices ranging from ward, local government, zone, and states, basically the officers must be available. And operationally, the office must be functioning so that we are exiting physically and functionally.

“Also, we have decided to make our party an ICT party. We have directed for e-registration of our members and we believe that will help us to partner with INEC to enable democracy.

“This will help us in planning and identifying numbers, sex and age bracket in our party, qualification, profession of our party members, and identity of our members right from ward level to national level. We do that to improve the democratic principle in the party.

“We are developing what we called National Institute for Progressive Studies (NIPS) in order to teach our members the basics of democracy so that the issue of hate speech will be eliminated.”

Earlier, the leader of the INEC Verification Team and Director of Election and Party Monitoring, Hajiya Hawa Habibu, explained that the commission was on a constitutional assignment to check all about the party and ensure it complies with the basic requirements of a functional political party.

She lamented that the exercise was carried out last in 2019, while COVID-19 hampered the exercise in 2020 and other electoral activities in 2022 and 2023.

Habibu said, “We are here on an annual verification of political parties. It is a constitutional mandate of the commission. Basically, we are supposed to find out and issue notices where political parties are not in compliance with the constitutional provisions as to the number, structure of the party in terms of the office in Abuja, auditing of their finances and other issues.

“The team will go round to verify the offices with our forms to give us the structure of the party as to whether the Electoral Act provision of minimum of 24 members of different states of the federation and the FCT has been compiled with.

“We will also find out whether APC has given us its audited account over the years. The last time we had this verification was in 2019, there was COVID-19 in 2020, we had so much activities in 2021 and 2022 and it has become pertinent that we have to do so now to verify political parties to ensure that the compliance status are in order. These are basically our assignments.”

Friday Olokor, Abuja

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