2015 Election:Edo, Rivers, FCT, Bauchi, Plateau and Imo Are Trouble Spots..Jega

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Friday, rejected the call for the postponement of the presidential election and declared that February 14 remains the date for the election.
Chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, made the declaration in Abuja, on Friday, at a workshop organised by INEC on “Mitigation of Violence In Election” against the backdrop of the ongoing agitation in some quarters that the polls should be postponed to enable INEC give all registered voters their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), had, on Thursday in London, canvassed for the postponement of the polls and disclosed that he had made his view on the matter known to the Chairman of INEC.
However, speaking on the issue on Friday, Jega said at no time had the commission sat down to review the date of the election despite the challenges related to the distribution of the PVCs and insisted that the commission was working round the clock on ensuring all PVCs were distributed .
Jega pointed out that the commission had long released the elections’ timetable about a year ago and had been vigorously working to meet up with the date.
In reaction to Colonel Dasuki’s call, Professor Jega said, “I don’t want to comment on this. Many things have been attributed to me which I know I didn’t say. So, until I can confirm and get clarification, it will be premature for me at this public event to start saying anything.
“In any case, whatever I say is the commission’s position and the commission has not discussed this matter and taken a position on it. So, I want to be more patient on this. I cannot comment on this for now.”
He said that the commission should not be blamed for people who refused to come out and collect PVCs which had been produced and sent to various collection points across the country.
He said the commission had continued to produce PVCs to meet the 68 million registered voters already captured and certified by the commission to be genuine and added that about four million cards were received by the commission on Thursday.
Jega also identified some trouble spots where he said precautions should be taken. They are Edo, Rivers, FCT, Bauchi, Plateau and Imo states, among others.
He said these places were prone to violence on the grounds of the outcome of their primaries as well as frustrations associated with the distribution of PVCs.
He pointed out that these and other possible causes informed the workshop with civil society organisations to promote aggressive voters enlightenment.
Jega reiterated the position of INEC that the election would be conducted with only the PVCs which had been tested and proven to be valid for elections.
Colonel Dasuki had, on Thursday, in Chatham House, London suggested a postponement of the elections so as to allow all eligible voters collect their PVCs.
Sambo spoke while answering questions from journalists after delivering a prepared text in which he preached against political violence during the polls.
A transcript of the chat with the press was released on Friday via PR Nigeria, an online platform with consultancy links with the security forces:
Text of the transcript:
The Royal Highness, Sultan of Sokoto, said he doesn’t have a voter card and I know so many Nigerians who do not have a Permanent Voter Card. If you say, from your presentation, that Nigerians who are eligible to vote would be allowed to do so and their votes will count, what is your department doing to ensure that INEC registers these people to ensure they have a permanent voter’s card?
Dasuki: The Sultan raised the issue of his card when the president came to visit him. I raised the issue with the INEC chairman and he said that “in the case of the Sultan, the fingerprints of everybody in his polling unit were not taken and they have to re-register them.” Apparently, the Sultan isn’t happy that he hasn’t received his card and it is taking too long.
The law provides for elections to be conducted not more than 90 days before and not less than 30 days to the end of an administration. February 14 is closer to the 90 days before the end of the tenure. We raised it with INEC; we said there is a problem if you had a year plus and all we have been able to do is distribute about 50 per cent of the cards. We still have about 30 million cards to distribute according to them (INEC). Look at the possibility of shifting this thing (election) and doing it when everybody has a card because it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s still within the law and it is safer for all of us. So, that is what we are encouraging. They keep assuring us that everybody would get his card but I doubt it. If in one year, you distributed 30 million, I don’t see how you will distribute another 30 million in two weeks. It doesn’t make sense, but that is where we are.
Can I just clarify something? Did you say that there should be a delay in elections? And if so, when would be the best to hold the elections?
Dasuki: What I said was there is nothing wrong with us delaying (the elections) to ensure that everybody that wants to vote can get the card to vote. This is because the comment we hear every day is: “you can’t vote without a Permanent Voter’s Card.” If you can’t vote without a Permanent Voter’s Card, what sense does it make to vote three months early when 30 million people whose cards have not been issued are still with INEC? That’s my position. So, INEC makes the determination. If you can distribute those cards today, we will all be happy but if you can’t, please consider and look at the other option.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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