2015: Confusion as Jega, IGP give conflicting directives on Presidential Polls

Ahead of next Saturday’s Presidential election, there is confusion in the land over conflicting directives emanating from two different agencies involved in the conduct and management of the polls.

The Inspector-General of Police, (IGP) Mr. Suleiman Abba, and the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Prof. Attahiru Jega, are in serious disagreement following the police chief ’s “vote and go home order”.

This is in direct contrast to the INEC’s boss earlier directive that voters can stay around the polling units, monitor and protect their votes even with cameras and their phones.

However, the IGP warned voters to go back to their homes after casting their votes on election day stating that they are not allowed to protect or stay by their votes after the election, as only policemen are sadled with the task of monitoring and safeguarding the process.

But Jega replied the IGP saying the Police boss erred as the electoral law did not state that voters could not or should not wait to watch and ensure that their votes count.

Abba, however said: “we will go on to protect the electorate. Every eligible voter should feel safe enough to cast his votes. We will be there to protect the votes and make sure no one disrupts the process”.

Jega, explained to the IGP that there is no part of the Electoral Act that forbids voters from waiting at the polling booths, adding that the law was only against loitering.

Jega’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kayode Idowu, also stressed the position of the commission’s boss, adding that no law bars voters from staying around polling centres. As a result of this development, voters are now at a loss on whom to obey on Election Day.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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