Saturday, February 7, 2015

INEC Postpones Nigerian Elections

Professor Attahiru Jega

After a series of long meetings with critical stakeholders lasting for about 12 hours, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the shift of Presidential and National Assembly elections from February 14, 2015 to March 28, 2015 whilst the gubernatorial elections and state house of assembly elections moved from February 28, 2015 to April 11, 2015. This follows the position of Nigerian security agencies that have insisted that they would not be able to provide security for INEC staff and election materials if the election went ahead as originally scheduled.

INEC has hinged its decision on Section 26 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (amended) whuich states that: "Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election, and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct the elections as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies, the commission may postpone the election and shall in respect of the area, or areas concerned, appoint another date for the holding of the postponed election provided that such reason for the postponement is cogent and verifiable."

INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega  at the press conference urged all stakeholders to take the decision in "good faith" as it has been taken to deepen democracy in Nigeria.

On the issue of allowing the resumption of transfer for voters who now live in areas different from the places they registered, Professor Jega said "it is not possible". He urged the media to do thorough investigations before reporting "wild accusations and allegations" regarding his integrity and fairness.

However, the commission will work to ensure that more Nigerians that have registered will be able to collect their Permanent Voter's Card (PVC).

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