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APGA flag-bearer advocates shifting of 2023 elections by two weeks

Chief Okorie hinged his appeal on the complaints by the INEC National Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, who complained recently that scarcity of petrol and spendable cash has slowed down INEC.


The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance [APGA] in the February 25, 2023, general elections, Chief Chekwas Okorie has advocated the shifting of the elections, starting from the presidential polls, by two weeks to enable the Independent National Electoral Commission {INEC) and other relevant stakeholders in the electoral value-chain prepare well for the polls to avoid looming failure.

Chief Chekwas Okorie hinged his appeal on the complaints and appeals by the INEC National Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, who complained recently that scarcity of petrol and spendable cash has slowed down the mobilization processes of the electoral commission and may affect the outcome of the 2023 general elections.

The Presidential flag-bearer, who emerged victorious recently at the Supreme Court after a protracted litigation with Chief Phillip Umeadi, over the authenticity of the APGA congress election stated in an exclusive interview in Abuja, that all the variable elements surrounding the 2023 general elections points to the fact that INEC and security agencies needed at least two to three weeks or more time to ensure proper preparation for the polls.

He stated that it will be counter-productive and foolhardy on the part of INEC to rush into a national election without adequate preparations based on available evidence just to make an impression about timeliness, consistency and honesty especially if in the end the goal of having a free, fair and credible election is not achieved.

Chief Okorie argued that the electoral umpire requires sufficient funds to pay for several logistics, adequate supply of fuel to power the vehicles that would transport sensitive and non-sensitive electoral materials to the 774 local government areas and wards throughout the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, warning that the cash crunch and fuel scarcity across the nation may have prompted the INEC chairman to raise recent alarm on the matter.

“Let our policy planners sit down with INEC and other stakeholders and see how the elections can be shifted by about two or three weeks so that it can start in March or thereafter to enable the electoral body prepare well.

“I am worried that INEC has raised the red flag about the absence of some of the things it requires for the election. I am also worried about the slow response of the Federal Government to these complaints.

“An election of a national dimension is not a child’s play. We need fuel to transport sensitive and non-sensitive material across the local governments and wards in the 36 states of the federation and since INEC may not have the capacity to move the materials on its own, it requires money to hire the transporters to do the job.

“The electoral body also needs money to buy fuel for its vehicles that will move its staff throughout their areas of posting. We are saying that instead of rushing to do these things just to give the impression that we are meeting a timeline, why not shift the dates by some weeks and perform the actions right and get better results and better credit.

“Many of the political parties are thinking along this line and it would be to the credit of INEC and the Federal Government by extension to get the process right than to rush and make a mess of the entire situation.”

Chief Okorie also complained about the slow process of substituting the name of the former APGA presidential candidate with the name of the new candidate as prescribed by the court ruling on the matter, stressing that the delay points to extraneous influences and a design to undermine the democratic process and deny APGA supporters their rightful place in the general elections.


Photo- Chief Chekwas Okorie

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