Election Will Hold On March 28th..Military

President Goodluck Jonathan and the Defence Headquarters have assured Nigerians that efforts were being intensified to ensure that the general elections were held on March 28 and April 11 as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Their assurances came barely 24 hours after INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, said he     was not in a position to guarantee the sanctity of the new election dates.
Jega, who was at the Senate   to brief members on the electoral body’s preparedness for the elections had been asked to state categorically if the dates were sacrosanct.
Avoiding being committal, he replied, “I have said consistently that there are things under the control of the electoral commission and there are things that are not under the control of the electoral commission. For things that are under our control, I can give definite and categorical assurances….“There are certain questions that we are not really competent to answer. Certain questions should be directed to the military, they can answer them better.’’
But Jonathan, while inaugurating four naval platforms at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos on Thursday, said,   “We must conduct our elections as scheduled by INEC because within this period, we are convinced that we will return to a time when the activities of extremists will not affect our elections.”
He added at the   ceremony that was attended by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice- Admiral Usman Jibrin; the Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Minimah;   the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marhsal Adesola Amosu, and the InspectorGeneral of Police, Suleiman Abba, that he was optimistic that the military would soon end insurgency in the North-East.
He added, “Let me use this platform to promise my good countrymen and women that we will rout Boko Haram. We are working hard day and night and I have directed that Nigerians be briefed regularly.
“The technical capacities of our men in the air force and army have been improved and we are pleased with what is happening. We commend the Chief of Defence Staff and all the services for what they are doing. We also commend other senior naval officers and ratings for this event.”
In Abuja, the Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said that the military was doing everything possible to   ensure that the elections were not delayed again.
He, however, advised other stakeholders to work to achieve the country’s objectives.
“The military will continue to work frantically towards the nation’s desire to achieve the peaceful and conducive atmosphere that will enable normal socio- economic and political life including elections to take place,” Olukolade said in an SMS.
“Please let all other stakeholders, including politicians, electoral officials and the media also work honestly and conscientiously to achieve the nation’s objectives. After all, security, as the saying goes, is everyone’s business,” he added.
Before Jonathan and Olukolade spoke, some Senators said that going by Jega’s statement, there was the need   for the service chiefs to be invited by the Senate to reassure Nigerians that there would not be further extension of the elections.
The   lawmakers, in   separate interviews   in Abuja,   said the INEC chief’s comment had raised concerns by   many Nigerians that the polls might be shifted again.
The Senators are Aisha Al-Hassan, Babafemi Ojudu, Babajide Omoworare; Bukola Saraki and Ita Enang.
Al-Hassan said, “since Jega   said it was difficult for him to guarantee the sanctity of the poll dates, the service chiefs should be invited to convince Nigerians that the situation in the North -East would be controlled before the poll dates.”
Saraki said, “It is still back to that issue of security which he has said he doesn’t have the powers neither does he have an answer. Since he said we should direct that question to the appropriate quarters,   I think that further emphasises what we were saying.
“The National Assembly still needs to bring the service chiefs to give us the assurance.”


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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