INEC Presents Report Of 2019 General Elections

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, presents the report of the 2019 general elections at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on November 6, 2020.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday presented the report of the 2019 general elections.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mamood Yakubu, made the presentation while briefing journalists at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He began with an explanation that the document contained two reports – the Report of the Stakeholders’ Retreat of the 2019 General Elections and the Report of the Election itself by the commission.

Professor Yakubu gave a breakdown of the reports to include preparations, conducts, and post-election events.

He noted that the reports contained 180 recommendations, adding that some of the recommendations that required administrative actions by the commission were already being implemented.

According to the INEC chief, the implementation of the recommendations led to the improvements in the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

He, however, stated that other recommendations in the reports would require legislative backings by the National Assembly to be implemented.

 

Professor Yakubu believes the two reports will help to strengthen the commission to deliver free, fair, and credible elections in the country.

He informed journalists at the briefing that hard copies of the reports would be widely distributed, while soft copies would be made available on INEC’s website by Monday.

Shortly before Professor Yakubu made the presentation, an INEC National Commissioner, Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu, gave the welcome address.

He highlighted the importance of the document presented by the INEC chairman, which was about five hundred pages.

The reports, according to Professor Ibeanu, represent INEC’s own narratives of its activities and a sense of accountability, especially as it relates to the 2019 general elections.

He stated that some of the lessons contained therein included the fact that elections in Nigeria have been too serious, adding that they should not be left only in the hands of INEC.

The INEC National Commissioner also believes the introduction of technology in elections is inevitable, but it must be done along with trust.

Read the full text of the INEC chairman’s briefing below:

REMARKS BY THE HONOURABLE CHAIRMAN, INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC), PROFESSOR MAHMOOD YAKUBU, AT THE VIRTUAL PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTION AND THE REPORT OF COMMISSION’S RETREATS AND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENTS ON THE REVIEW OF THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTION TO ELECTORAL STAKEHOLDERS, FRIDAY 6TH NOVEMBER 2020

Let me join the Chairman of the Electoral Operations and Logistics Committee (EOLC) of the Commission, Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu, to warmly welcome you all to this meeting for the presentation of two important documents.

First, is the Report of the 2019 General Election and, secondly, the Report of the Commission’s Retreats and Stakeholder Engagements on the Review of the 2019 General Election.

It will be recalled that INEC conducted the 2019 General Election comprising the Presidential and National Assembly elections on 23rd February 2019 and the Governorship, State Houses of Assembly and FCT Area Council elections on 9th March 2019.

The election, which was the sixth successive General Election since the transition to democracy on 29th May 1999, was the largest electoral exercise so far undertaken in the history of elections in Nigeria.

It was contested by 24,353 candidates nominated by 91 political parties for 1,558 constituencies and with a voter population of 84,004,084 spread across 119,973 polling units and 57,023 voting points across the country.

On personnel, a total of 821,686 ad-hoc staff were engaged for the election. The Commission also accredited 71,256 domestic and international observers, as well as 11,250 domestic and international journalists for the election.

Following the conclusion of the election, the Commission constituted two Committees each headed by a National Commissioner.

The first Committee led by Barrister Festus Okoye, the Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), was saddled with the responsibility of producing the official account of the conduct of the 2019 General Election.

The second Committee chaired by Dr Muhammed Lecky, Chairman of the Planning, Monitoring and Strategy Committee (PMSC), was charged with the responsibility of producing a report on the review of the election based on the outcome of the Commission’s Retreats and Stakeholder Engagements held from 28th May to 12th July 2019.

On behalf of the Commission, let me thank the two Committees most sincerely for their efforts, the products of which we are today presenting to our stakeholders and the general public.

The Report of the 2019 General Election is presented in 13 Chapters covering the major issues associated with the conduct of the election.

These include the vision, mission, opportunities and challenges of the Commission upon its inauguration on 9th November 2015, the lessons learnt from the conduct of over 170 off-cycle governorship elections and bye-elections, the review of the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan (SP) and Strategic Programme of Action (SPA), the 2015 Election Project Plan (EPP) and the design, formulation and implementation of the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, Strategic Programme of Action and the 2019 Election Project Plan.

Against this background, the report examines in detail the key activities, preparations and challenges associated with the conduct of the 2019 General Election ranging from registration of new political parties, conduct of continuous voter registration, monitoring of party primaries, candidate nomination process and party campaigns, the recruitment and training of ad-hoc staff and the accreditation of election observers and party agents.

The report also discussed the processes and procedures for the conduct of the General Election, including the deployment of personnel and materials, the operation of the Situation Room and Collation Centres and the organisation and management of the Counting, Collation and Declaration of results at National, State, LGA and Registration Area levels.

It also deals with pre-election and post-election litigations. The last section of the report focuses on the preparation and delivery of the election in the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.

The concluding part of the report dwells on the critical issues and challenges associated with the preparation and conduct of the election, lessons learnt and specific recommendations for addressing them.

The Second report we are presenting today is the Review of the 2019 General Election based on the outcome of the Commission’s Retreats and Stakeholder Engagements.

It covers the outcome of internal debriefing meetings and external engagements with electoral stakeholders held from 28th May to 12th July 2019. The aim was to evaluate the Commission’s actions, processes, and procedures before, during and after the election.

While the internal review involved the Commission’s debriefing sessions with its Electoral Officers, Administrative Secretaries, Directing Staff and Resident Electoral Commissioners to critically appraise its performance in the conduct of the election, the engagement with external stakeholders involved meetings with leaders of political parties, members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), Civil Society Organisations and the Media.

Consisting of a total of 12 engagements in six separate internal and external meetings, the review exercise enabled the Commission to listen to its officials, receive feedbacks from relevant stakeholders and learn vital lessons in the continuing effort to improve the conduct of elections in Nigeria.

Presented in 16 Chapters, the Report identifies the main issues discussed in the review exercise and provides a detailed assessment on the opportunities and challenges associated with each of the issues as well as actionable proposals for resolving them.

Although the Commission has undertaken such a review in the past, this is the first time that the report is published and disseminated with the public. It contains 180 recommendations that either require administrative action by the Commission or amendments to strengthen the existing electoral legal framework by the National Assembly.

Some of the recommendations that require administrative action by INEC are already being implemented resulting in improved management of the electoral process as seen in the recent off-cycle Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.

We are similarly engaging with the National Assembly on aspects of the recommendations that require legislative action.

The activities and engagements leading to the publication of the two reports would not have been possible without the full participation and continuous support of political parties, civil society organisations, the media and security agencies.

I wish to reassure you that such strategic engagement will be sustained. The Commission will also continue to work with all our partners to encourage inclusivity for marginalised groups such as Persons With Disability (PWDs), youths and women in the electoral process.

The Commission similarly appreciates the partnership of the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) for supporting the review of the 2019 General Election as well as the printing of the reports.

The two organisations, along with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), have also supported the Commission in other ways, including the printing of the Commission’s Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic (2020), Voter Code of Conduct (2020) and Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Electoral Duty (2020) all of which have already been publicly disseminated.

The strength of any public institution lies in its ability to ask critical questions, review its processes, strengthen its procedures for better service delivery and engage with stakeholders.

It is my fervent hope that making the two reports public will promote a better understanding of the issues and challenges associated with the conduct of the 2019 General Election and serve as important resource materials for research and the promotion of a broader national discourse on the necessary reforms required for the continued delivery of peaceful, free, fair, credible, inclusive and safe elections in Nigeria.

I want to assure all Nigerians that the hard copies of the two reports will be widely disseminated while soft copies will be uploaded on our website on Monday next week.

I thank you all and God bless.

INEC Boss Criticises Deployment Of Security Officers During 2019 Elections

INEC To Conduct Supplementary Elections In Kano, Sokoto, Four Others March 23
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, has criticised the way security officers were deployed during the 2019 general elections.

Professor Yakubu who spoke during the expanded inter-agency consultative meeting with the committee on elections security in Abuja stressed that a lot of attention was given to numbers rather than setting priorities on strategic deployment.

The special committee formulated by the electoral body, on a regular basis, do an appraisal of the performances of security agencies who participate in the Nation’s Elections.

The meeting had representatives of the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Air staff, as well as men and officers from the paramilitary including Customs, Immigration, Correctional Services as well as the EFCC.

The INEC Chairman in his opening remarks stated that the same approach was adopted during the Kogi and Bayelsa states election, urging the security bosses to rethink the strategies in ensuring a peaceful election period.

On his part the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu revealed that anyone who tries to compromise the electoral system during the January 25 re-run Elections in some states will be made a scapegoat.

YIAGA Africa Presents Report On 2019 General Elections

YIAGA Africa Watching The Vote (WTV) public presentation of the 2019 General Elections Observation Report in Abuja. PHOTOS: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA Africa), has presented a report of its observations of the 2019 General Elections.

Presenting the report before officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other key stakeholders, the group highlighted some of the shortcomings witnessed during the elections and gave some recommendations.

“YIAGA AFRICA noted some lapses in the design, communication and lack of uniformity in the implementation of the guidelines issued by the electoral commission.

“Election results management remains the weakest link in Nigeria’s electoral process,” the group said on Twitter.

It also noted that there is “a budding trend of voter intimidation and assault against unsuspecting individuals, press and civil society during elections”.

“YIAGA AFRICA received verified critical incidents reports of @OfficialAPCNg and @OfficialPDPNig agents or supporters attacking observers, polling staff or voters; snatching ballot boxes; and destroying election materials.

“Political party primaries is not a party affair but a National affair because Nigerians are restricted to the options provided by political parties thus Nigerians should be interested in the credibility of party primaries,” the group further stated.

According to them, if the Nigerian democracy must move forward, party leaders must ensure that they encourage and model peaceful engagement with the electoral process and urge their supporters to act in accordance with the electoral guidelines and the law.

Consequently, it recommended that INEC investigates and disciplines all permanent and ad-hoc staff alleged to have been involved in any malpractice or fraud during and after the elections.

The group also promised to continue to engage with INEC and other stakeholders to ensure the implementation of recommendations for the 2019 elections.

2019 General Elections Is The ‘Most Extensively’ Covered Event In Nigeria – INEC

INEC To Conduct Supplementary Elections In Kano, Sokoto, Four Others March 23
File Photo: INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

A total of 1,799 journalists from more than 150 domestic media organisations were accredited to cover the 2019 General Elections.

This is according to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke at a meeting with the media to review the last general elections on Thursday in Abuja.

He also said that 332 journalists from 52 foreign media organisations from different parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia came to cover the elections, describing it as the ‘most extensively’ covered event in Nigeria in 2019.

Mr Yakubu added that the meeting is aimed at addressing salient aspects of the election processes that require improvement.

“The Headquarters of the Commission alone accredited 1,799 journalists from more than 150 domestic Media organisations to cover the 2019 General Election.

“Foreign Media presence was also impressive. We had 332 journalists from 52 foreign Media organisations from different parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia to cover the elections. It was, indeed, an engaging experience. The General Election was the most extensively covered event in Nigeria in 2019.

“The purpose of this meeting, therefore, is to discuss all the salient aspects of the process which require improvement. You were accredited to cover all aspects of the processes. The Commission wants to hear from you how processes can be improved upon.”

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He assured that all the observations will be considered during the Kogi and Bayelsa Governorship elections scheduled for Saturday 16th November 2019.

“Let me remind you that the Kogi and Bayelsa Governorship elections have been scheduled for Saturday 16th November 2019. I assure you that we will consider all the recommendations arising from this meeting that can be implemented administratively by the Commission before the conduct of the Governorship elections in the two States.”

We Didn’t Transmit Results Of General Election Via Server, Says INEC

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it did not transmit results of the 2019 General Election electronically through its server due to circumstances beyond its control.

INEC National Commissioner in charge of Southwest, Solomon Soyebi, stated this at the post-election review meeting held at the Commission’s office in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

“For some reasons, the Commission did not adopt ‘that option’ for 2019 election. It can only tell you that we are not ready for that technology because we were sure it would not be successful,” he said.

According to him, the clarification became necessary because of rising controversies on the transmission of the election results from states to the INEC server.

He further explained that although the process was piloted in Sokoto and tested in the Osun Governorship Election, it was not used for the General Elections.

“We didn’t use it for 2019 elections and I did say again that the 2019 elections were conducted according to law.

“We used the Federal Constitution of the Federal Republic, we used the Electoral Act and we used our own guidelines for 2019.

“If you look at all of them, we did not conduct elections outside these three instruments and you will see that there was no way where the issue of transmission was highlighted there,” he added.

Read Also: Osun Governorship Tussle: Adeleke Ask Supreme Court To Uphold Tribunals Judgment

Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Olusegun Agbaje, also addressed some of the issues which led to elections being declared inconclusive.

According to him, violence was largely responsible for most of the rerun elections held in the country.

“Permit me to say that the Commission does not deliberately declare an election inconclusive as usually wrongly perceived by some members of the public.

“It is those who engage in disenfranchising voters as part of their win at-all-cost-strategy that should be blamed.

“If political thugs did not disturb votes in the five (Polling Units (PUs) of Oriade State consistency mentioned above, the Commission would not have declared the election inconclusive,” he said.

INEC To Employ Corps Members With ‘Excellent Performance’ In 2019 Elections

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has revealed plans to give automatic employment to some National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) with excellent performance in the 2019 General Elections.

This was made known by the Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, during the European Union for Democracy Nigeria Donation to Youth Corps Members at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Abuja on Monday.

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According to Yakubu, the electoral body has started conducting the 2019 Election Review and the performance of Corps members will give special attention.

I want to appreciate all official NYSC Nigeria here & those not here; presently we are conducting the 2019 Election Review & we promise to reward some Corps members with excellent performance in the Elections with automatic employment.

INEC Withdraws 25 Certificate Of Return From Election Winners

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the withdrawal of 25 Certificates of Return from some winners of the just concluded 2019 General Elections on orders from various courts across the country.

INEC, through its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, at a forum on Media Coverage of the 2019 General Elections in Enugu on Monday, explained to journalists that the withdrawn certificates have been handed to the rightful winners.

“Just before we left the commission on Friday, we had returned the certificate of return of 25 candidates.”

He added that the withdrawals followed court orders after discovering that some political parties conducted ‘crooked’ primaries and ‘substitution of candidates’.

“Why were these certificates withdrawn? Some of the Political parties took their own party constitution on its head; some of the parties conducted crooked party primaries, engaged in substitution of candidates.”

According to him 20 out of the 25 certificates were withdrawn from candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and given to candidates of the same party.

READ ALSO: Magu: EFCC Is Investigating Okorocha, Others

While two were withdrawn from APC candidates and given to candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Two were also exchanged between PDP members and one was withdrawn from a candidate of the APC and given to a member of Accord Party.

“20 of those certificates were withdrawn from candidates of the APC and given to other candidates of the APC. One was withdrawn from APC and given to a candidate of Accord Party.

“Two of the certificates were returned from the APC and given to the PDP candidates. Two certificates were withdrawn from the PDP and given to the PDP candidates.”

Mr Okoye also revealed that more certificates of return may be withdrawn as the court is still adjudicating on some cases.

“And the withdrawals will continue because even before I left Abuja, the Federal, State and Appeal courts were still delivering judgments relating to party primary elections and were still giving orders to the commission to withdraw certificates of return and issue to others.”

PHOTOS: Scenes From 2019 Governorship And State Assembly Elections Across Nigeria

 

 

The 2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections have commenced across the country.

Nigerians, a fortnight ago, went out to cast their votes in the presidential elections which President Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected for another four years.

READ ALSO: LIVE: NIGERIA HOLDS GOVERNORSHIP, STATE ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

Channels TV correspondents all over the country are monitoring the ongoing exercise.

Below are photos from various polling centres across the nation.

 

Gowon Urges Elders In Nigeria To Speak Up On State Of The Nation

 

Former Head of State, retired General Yakubu Gowon, says Nigerians at all levels of society must participate in the 2019 general elections process, just as he called on elders in the country not to be silent regarding the state of the country, with a focus on post-election stability in the country.

According to the elder statesman, it is the role of all citizens to affirm our highest values with honourable and peaceful conduct while rejecting the worst vices being promoted by a tiny group of corrupt Nigerians who seek power at various levels. The former head of state said this at a briefing in Abuja, tagged, ‘The Burden of the Elders at the Dawn of 2019 General Elections’.

He said Nigeria’s journey to true nationhood since independence in 1960 has been slow, but incremental. He gave reasons for the state of affairs.

“The central reason for our unsteady journey is fairly obvious as no nation can take a giant leap on the scale of human progress without true stewardship represented by a leadership that is visionary, honest, open, and patriotic.”

While admitting that the decline in moral standards in the country may have started long before now, he pointed out that “this overwhelming plunge into extreme greed and corruption of recent years has been a heartbreaking experience to us,” a trend he said posed a clear and present danger to the wellbeing of today’s children and generations yet unborn.

Gen. Gowon condemned a situation in which, according to him, elders sit by and watch the degeneration in societal values, stressing that “the violent turn of expressions, deepened economic hardships and increasing desperation of the national polity has to be reversed to keep hope alive.”

He added, “As we soak in all the attendant factors including the toxic political culture of the present hour and the predatory tonality of the ongoing election processes magnified by the fact that the country is still reeling from the shock of the postponed elections, it has become imperative that we must speak up as elders.”

While urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and politicians to live up to their responsibilities in the forthcoming elections, he threw a challenge to the elders in the country.

“As we soak in all the attendant factors including the toxic political culture of the present hour and the predatory tonality of the ongoing election processes magnified by the fact that the country is still reeling from the shock of the postponed elections, it has become imperative that we must speak up as elders.”

The former head of state did not stop there but also addressed another issue that constitutes a great to the nation’s development and proffered a solution.

“We recommend that a comprehensive strategy for addressing the cankerworm of corruption should be formulated by taking deliberate and painstaking steps for eliminating the root causes of corruption while developing a more sophisticated and even-handed for the investigation and prosecution of corrupt practices.”

Regarding Saturday’s elections, Gen. Gowon said, “God willing, we are determined to honour the call we started out with as our duty to our fatherland so that the banner we would hand over to future generations should be stainless rather than coloured crimson with the blood of the innocent.”

He appealed to Nigerians to calm down and work towards a sustainable future for the nation.

Young Candidates Gather In Abuja For #NotTooYoungToRun Conference

 

Hundreds of young candidates of various political parties on Monday

The conference is aimed at empowering the young candidates ahead of the 2019 general elections. It is scheduled to hold for three days.

Different speakers including young lawmakers from Nigeria and other countries, leaders with inspiring stories, academics and civil societies were in attendance at the conference.

Tagged ‘The Convergence: Power, Capacity, Politics’ the #NotTooYoungToRun conference is an initiative of Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA Africa).

It is supported by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAID).

NASS Slashes Funds From MDA’s To Fund 2019 Elections

Ortom Condemns Alleged Plot To Overthrow NASS Leadership

 

The National Assembly has slashed the budget of thirty government agencies to fund the 2019 general elections.

The Senate and the House of Representatives had approved that the sum of N242 billion be taken from Service Wide Votes for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to conduct the 2019 elections.

With this adjustment, the funds for INEC and security agencies will be taken from the Service Wide Votes as well as the 2018 Budget of 30 ministries and agencies.

Some of the agencies where funds are expected to be vired from include, the Ministry of Agriculture from which N11 billion will be deducted, the Ministry of Education from which N10.2 billion will be deducted and the Ministry of Health from which eight billion Naira will be deducted, among others.

We Have No Plans To Postpone 2019 General Elections – INEC

INEC Boss Asks Appeal Court To Quash Arrest Order Against Him
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu (file)

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it has no plan to postpone the 2019 general elections.

INEC in a statement by its Chief Press Secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi dismissed reports saying “We May Shift 2019 Polls Over Threat Of Violence – INEC “, he claimed that the chairman of the umpire, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu was quoted wrongly at the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting that took place at the Commission’s headquarters on September 11, 2018.

“It is common knowledge that the Osun State governorship election will hold on Saturday 22nd September, while the 2019 General Elections are only 156 days away”.

He explained that the ICCES meeting, which takes place on a regular, quarterly basis, provides an opportunity for INEC and security agencies to evaluate and discuss the country’s security situation, with the aim of putting the necessary measures in place to enable the Commission to carry out its mandate.

Mr Oyekanmi noted that the INEC boss during the meeting told the security chiefs that with the 2019 general elections drawing close, the Committee would need to meet more frequently to constantly assess the security situation across the country and take proactive actions to forestall any unpleasant event before, during and immediately after the elections.

He underscored the fact that elections cannot be conducted under a rancorous atmosphere.

He referred to Section 26 of the Electoral Act which, among others, gives the Commission the power to postpone an election “if there is reason to believe that a serious breach of peace is likely to occur and the election is proceeded with on (the fixed date)”, or as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies”.

According to him, Prof. Yakubu made the reference to the Electoral Act only to emphasise the importance of having peace and order in place before, during and after elections, and the significance of the synergy between the commission and security agencies.

He mentioned that the most important assignment before the Commission was the Osun governorship election, noting that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Osun State, Mr Segun Agbaje and Commissioner of Police for Osun state, Mr Fimihan Adeoye would brief the Committee on the current situation and state of readiness for the governorship poll. (Both Agbaje and Adeoye later briefed the audience).

On vote buying, Prof Yakubu spoke on the need for collaborative effort to decisively tackle the menace and prevent it during the Osun governorship election.

He said a Code of Conduct for security agents would be enforced during the elections and warned that any activity outside the confines of legality/ legitimacy will be viewed seriously.

The INEC boss also seized the opportunity to draw the Committee’s attention to a video clip making the rounds, in which some political actors were seen making inciteful statements that could lead to serious security breaches before, during and after the 2019 general elections.

He called on the relevant security agencies to be vigilant, just as he urged them to take immediate action on the development.

He commended members of the Committee for their cooperation, which makes it possible for INEC to conduct credible elections.

Mr Oyekanmi said “It is thus clear that at no point during his remarks did the INEC Chairman allude to the notion that the Commission may shift 2019 polls over the threat of violence” as reported.