The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it had no plans of relocating Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Federal Constituency collation centre situated in Zwall to any place ahead of 2019 elections.
This was just as it charged journalists on objective reporting during the 2019 general elections.
The Bauchi State INEC Resident Electoral Commission, REC, Abdullahi Mohammad, said Wednesday while answering questions from reporters in Bauchi.
He said the commission decided to ignore the agitation to relocate the collation centre from Zwall to Dass following exhaustive meetings with political parties and stakeholders to maintain peace.
“Yes, we received petition to relocate Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro constituency’s collation centre from Zwall, but after meetings with political parties and stakeholders it was agreed that the centre should remain there to ensure peace.”
Mohammed debunked insinuation that the ruling party was behind relocating the collation centre for fear of losing to PDP following Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s political popularly.
He stressed that the decision to maintain the collation centre was to respect voters’ views and to avoid any violence thereafter.
“Our roles as electoral body is to accept majority views on electoral process to ensure credible, free and fair election,” added Mohammad.
It could be recalled that Speaker Dogara supporters and the entire Dass, Tafawabalewa and Bogoro constituents had in protest recently shutdown Bauchi INEC office kicking against relocating collation centre from Zwall to Dass following petition.
The REC also charged journalists in the state to objectively report the election exercise to avoid brewing to violence.
“Objective report by journalists during the next general elections determine s our collective success especially to ensure credible, free and fairness in the exercise and to avoid sensational reporting capable of putting the nation in flames,” Mohammad warned.
He assured that INEC will provide adequate information to newsmen regarding the general election to ensure accuracy and objectivity
He warned political parties against utilising social media to declare election result instead its the sole obligations of the electoral body.
“We had cases where journalists also declared election result instead of INEC to do that through their reportage and it had caused violence in the past,” Mohammad warned.