The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is ready to conduct 28 outstanding elections spread across 11 states of the Nigerian Federation.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents on Tuesday in Abuja.
He spoke shortly after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari along with top officials of the electoral body at the Presidential Villa.
Also present were the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
Professor Yakubu announced that INEC has set January 25 for the exercise, noting that 28 elections were part of the 30 annulled by the courts.
On his part, the IGP told reporters that the police were poised to stop ballot box-snatching and other electoral malpractices while ensuring a secure environment for the elections.
Earlier, President Buhari directed INEC) and the police to be fair to Nigerians during the elections, saying the commission must ensure that the game was played by the rules, without fear or favour.
“Those that you declare as winners must be the candidates that the people have chosen,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina.
He added, “Democracy is about free will, and the will of the people must be allowed to prevail. Get your acts right, and leave no room for underhand tricks or manipulation.”
The President said he was determined to give Nigeria an electoral system that meets with best practices anywhere in the world, and charged the electoral umpire to stick to the rules of fair play and adherence to justice.
On the other hand, he told the police that they must carefully secure the electoral process, without bias or favouritism.
President Buhari stated, “Our elections must be done in violence-free atmosphere. The process must be free, fair, decent, devoid of intimidation or malpractices.
“It is the duty of the police to accomplish that, and it is what I expect in the elections immediately ahead and going forward.”