Yesterday, September 27, 2016, the Senate raised concerns about how politics in Nigeria is sliding and how it would greatly affect the 2019 general elections — especially because of the ongoing crisis in the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC currently has no Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in 20 of the 36 states and as a result, there is no way it can effectively conduct any credible election.
The Guardian reports that a motion to this effect was sponsored by Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy Senate president, who argued that the refusal to appoint RECs in 20 states of the federation breaches of section 14 (2) of the Third Schedule of the amended 1999 constitution.
Now the Senate wants President Muhammadu Buhari to nominate qualified persons to fill the vacancies immediately to give the electoral body adequate time to prepare for future elections.
INEC on its part has been frustrated by cases of inconclusive elections, and the Senate called the attention of the electoral body to this asking it to immediately ensure the pending issues are resolved.
The committee on INEC was also mandated to organise a public hearing to review the performance of the commission in the last one year to ascertain its challenges. Senate President Bukola Saraki also reportedly urged INEC to conclude elections in affected constituencies.
INEC, after the 2015 general election, has conducted many other elections but most of these have been rendered inconclusive.