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    CSO threatens to march to National Assembly over election budget

    APA-Abuja (Nigeria)

    A Civil Society Organisation, Election Monitor, has threatened to moblise Nigerians to march to the National Assembly in protest against continued delay in the passage of the budget for the 2019 general elections.

    Mr. Abiodun Ajijola, Convener, Election Monitor, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the peaceful protest would be held on Thursday.

    He said it was unfortunate and completely unacceptable that the National Assembly was considering postponing its resumption until the second week in October because its members were going to take part in political party primaries.

    Ajijola queried the logic in going for primaries and refusing to conclusively approve the budget for the same election the legislators wished to participate in.

    He said that Nigerians needed to ask why it was taking so long for the National Assembly to pass the 2019 General Elections budget and the implications of further delay.

    The convener said that there was no urgency on the part legislators to pass the budget for the 2019 general elections even as the political party primary window had been open for three weeks.

    “Election Monitor wants to remind all members of the National Assembly that they were elected to serve in the best interest of Nigerians. INEC has an approved Election Project Plan (EPP) which guides it in effective election implementation.

    “With the current and proposed delays it would be arduous if at all possible to meet all necessary benchmarks within the required timelines.

    “Therefore there must be no further delay! The current intentional delay of approving the general elections budget is precarious for the peace and stability of Nigeria,’’ he said.

    He said the organisation was calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to come out for a peaceful march to the National Assembly at 8am on Wednesday to demand that the 2019 general elections budget is passed on or before Sept. 18.

    “Take off point is Unity Fountain Abuja; the Dress Code is white with a touch of green (green cap, hat). You should bring a Nigerian flag (any size is okay),’’ he said.

    According to him, if there is further delay in passing and releasing the 2019 Elections budget beyond Sept. 18, the group will call for sustained protests daily and simultaneously nationwide until the whole election budget is passed and released to INEC.

    He expressed optimism that the nation would overcome every agenda and attempt to truncate the hard-fought democracy.


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