Nigeria elections: INEC explains reasons for postponement

Nigeria’s presidential elections scheduled for February 14, 2015 has been postponed to March 28, 2015.

According to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC ), Prof Attahiru Jega, who announced the surprised shift at 22:08 GMT on Saturday, the postponement was on the advise of the national security council.

He said the election management body was ready and prepared to hold the elections, however, because INEC was not in charge of security, especially for its staff and materials, it had to heed to the security counsel and take such unpleasant decision.

He explained that according to the security, they will not be able to provide adequate security for the over one million staff and materials, he had to postpone the elections and offer the security agencies enough time to deal with the insurgency and thereafter, have enough men and personnel for the elections.

Dr Jega said, ”the security agencies say that they will need six weeks to be able to restore normalcy”.

He explained that the security officers indicated that they would be very busy in fighting Boko Haram and that they will need six weeks, either than that they would not have enough men and time to cater for the elections.

Graphiconline sources in Abuja confirms that the INEC Chairman after receiving the security report from the top brass of the Nigerian security met with 26 out of the 28 political parties, civil society groups, some members of Parliament and other interested groups.

Some of these meetings according to Graphiconline sources were engulfed with a heated debate.

Before the announcement, the National Security Advisor to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Colonel Sambo Dasuki had called on the INEC to postpone the elections due to security reasons and the fact that a lot of Nigerians have not received their chip-based Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs). But the Chairman insisted that the elections will go ahead as scheduled.

Some leading members of the ruling PDP also made similar calls which was discounted by the opposition All Progressive Congress ( APC ), led by its four time presidential candidate, General M. Buhari.

Under the Electoral laws of Nigeria, the INEC could pospone the election for cogent reasons but the declaration of the results of the posponed elections should not go beyond 30 days to the swearing in of the elected President on May 29.

Some ordinary Nigerians Graphiconline spoke to expressed shock at the turn of events and said even in war torn countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, elections go ahead.

source : Graphic Online