Jega: Political Parties Heating Up The Polity

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Thursday said some actions of some candidates for the March 28 and April 11 elections were becoming a threat, thereby were heating up the polity.

Prof. Jega made this known during a meeting the commission had with registered political parties in Abuja.

The meeting between Jega and the political parties was meant to brief the ‎political parties on the level of preparation of INEC with regards to last Saturday’s field test of Card Readers in 12 states.

He also said the postponement of the general elections has afforded the commission the opportunity to further perfect the electoral process.

It is believed that the commission would have entertained questions from the parties, few of which have expressed reservations about the usage and reliability of the card readers.

According to the INEC Chairman, “the attitude of candidates may affect whether we will have peaceful elections.”

While saying that the eyes of the world was on Nigeria, Jega also decried the conflicts and violence that he said had trailed campaigns.

He described them as “unwholesome events that we should all work hard to address.”

The chairman of the commission called on political parties to pay attention to and also select credible party agents that, he said, would be stationed at the polling units.

He advised political parties to train their agents, “because they are central to transparency of the electoral process.”

On the extension of the elections and preparations by the commission, Jega said, “We believe we are adequately prepared for the elections as we seize the six weeks extension to make supplementary preparations which we believe will add value to the elections.

“We believe that the period of extension has offered us an opportunity to further perfect the electoral process for the delivery of free, fair, credible and peaceful elections to the satisfaction of yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.”

However, speaking for the political parties at the meeting, the Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council, Mr. Tanko Yunusa, said while the political parties would support the commission, the commission should look into all the complaints raised during the field test of card readers.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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