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2015: Again, Jega Defends Election Time Table

Kayode Adelowokan, Lagos

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has agains defended the timetable released by the commission for the forth coming 2015 general elections.

Disgruntled political parties in the country had faulted the sequence of the time table, insisting on having the governorship elections before the presidential election.

Meanwhile, Jega, who was speaking during a Television programme in Lagos cleared that a lot of thought went into the process that produced the eventual timetable.

Recounting the sequence at which elections were held in 2011, he said it was National Assembly elections that were held first, follow by presidential elections before governorship and state assembly elections were conducted respectively.

“What we have done now is that, we will do National Assembly and presidential elections together while the governorship and state assembly elections will be on another day.

“How did we change the sequence of the election? It is the same sequence, all we have done is to collapse the first two at the national level”, he said.

The INEC boss maintained that the decision to hold the joint elections was in line with global best practices.

He commended the performance of the Commission in the conduct of the Anambra election insisting that Anambra election was not as bad as it was made out to be.

“There was a lot of media hype about what happened in Anambra which was capitalised on by some aggrieved parties”, he added.

He however said the Commission admitted to its mistakes during the election and berated those who called for the total cancellation of the election.

“Mistakes were made and we have identified the staff that was responsible for that mistake and he has been taken to court and prosecuted duly. Measures to rectify the irregularity were taken immediately.

“We re-scheduled the elections and the elections were conducted and it was added to the results of other places and it was announced.”

Speaking on the coming Ekiti and Osun States governorship election, Prof Atairu Jega, however called on Nigerians to expect peaceful election boasting that necessary logistics have been put in place.

He said, “The commission is doing everything possible; engaging stakeholders, preparing adequately on its side to ensure that elections in Ekiti and Osun are very good elections with minimal challenges.”


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