The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega, has said that unless there is a significant improvement in the security situation in the north east, next month’s general elections may not take place in some local government areas of some states in the North-east zone.
Jega spoke in Abuja yesterday during a forum in Abuja, organised by the African Policy Research Institute.
He said, “A place like Borno State, unless something is done about those that have been displaced, even the returns for the governorship might be difficult, if not impossible under the circumstances. To be realistic, we must say that it may be impossible to do elections in everywhere, in every local government, in every constituency in those three states”.
He however pointed out that the commission is working hard to limit the number of Nigerians that may be disenfranchised as a result of the insurgency.
Jega also announced that the commission has made adequate plans for internally displaced persons to vote in designated areas in the north east.
“First and foremost, we know that there is many internally displaced persons in Nigeria but our focus is going to be on the north east zone and it will only be for internally displaced persons that are in the states”, he added.
Also speaking at the forum was the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi, called on politicians who steal the nation’s resources to be cautious.
He noted that “our problem is not in terms of wealth but in terms of distribution of the wealth; the social distribution”.
Parties Barred From Withdrawing Guber, State Assembly Candidates
Political parties can no longer withdraw or replace their governorship and state house of assembly candidates from February 28, elections after today.
This is spelt out in the guideline released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and backed by provision of section 35 of the Electoral Act (2010) which provides for this to be done not later than 45 days before the election.
For the presidential election and national assembly candidates, that phased was crossed December 30, 2014.
The 2015 General Elections will take place on February 14 (presidential and national assembly) and February 28 2015.
This comes as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to formally present to political parties copies of the Voters’ Register to be used in conducting the 2015 General Elections today.
Section 20 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that the Register of Voters for an election shall be published at least thirty (30) days before the elections.
Also, the Timetable And Schedule of Activities for the 2015 General Elections released to the public on 24th January 2014 shows under item 10 that the Commission shall release/ publish the official Register of Voters for the election on January 13, 2015.
Similarly, the Commission shall publish the list of nominated candidates contesting for the Presidency and National Assembly on today as mandated by Section 34 of the electoral act which provides that it should be done 30 days before the election.
The list of those contesting for the offices of Governor and House of Assembly will be published on January, 27 2015.