Professor Attahiru Jega Says INEC Ready For Free, Fair, Credible 2015 Elections, The head of Nigeria’s electoral body stated this today, Monday it was ready to conduct 2015 presidential and parliamentary elections in less than two weeks’ time, after the vote was delayed by security concerns.
Attahiru Jega told a meeting in the capital city Abuja that his Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had done “everything humanly possible” for a free, fair, credible and peaceful vote on March 28.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega INEC has come under close scrutiny since last month when Jega was forced to postpone the February 14 general election on the grounds that troops could not provide adequate security on polling day.
Nigerian soldiers, backed by troops from Cameroon, Chad and Niger, are currently involved in a major offensive against Boko Haram, which has seized swathes of territory in Nigeria’s northeast. The Islamist insurgency, which began in 2009, has killed more than 13,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands more to flee, raising the prospect that the displaced will be unable to vote.
Despite a series of claimed military successes, security fears remain over the safety of polling stations after an increase in bomb and suicide attacks in recent weeks. Jega maintained that the election would be peaceful, despite the insurgency and election-linked violence, and said the six-week delay had given his organisation more time to prepare.
A week before February 14, INEC said that two-thirds (66.5 percent) of the 68.8 million registered voters had collected their ID cards, prompting claims that it was unprepared. On Monday, Jega said 67.8 million cards had been produced and distributed to individual states, including to the internally displaced, who would be able to vote near camps in the north. But he added: “The level of collection… nationwide is about 56 million out of these 68.8 million (81 percent).