The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, has told Nigerian federal lawmakers he could not guarantee the 2015 general elections will hold on rescheduled dates in March and April. At a meeting with Senators Wednesday, Mr. Jega said he could not commit himself to the “sanctity” of March 28 and April 11 – dates for the rescheduled Nigeria’s general elections.
He said the electoral commission could not guarantee aspects of the poll that are beyond its control. Mr. Jega met with the lawmakers to review the decision to postpone the polls from February.Under the Nigerian law, a further six-week extension of the elections is possible, a prospect opposed by many Nigerians, the main opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, and the international community.
INEC had said the postponement were necessary for security reasons, as military chiefs had warned against going on with the vote to allow it focus on fighting the terror group, Boko Haram.
But the APC said the delay was instigated by President Goodluck Jonathan, to save him and ruling party from losing the elections to the APC candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
Since announcing the new dates nearly two weeks ago, the commission has declined to clearly confirm that there will be no further delay beyond March 28 and April 11, for presidential, National Assembly, governorship and state assembly polls.
Responding to a question by George Akume, Senate Minority Leader, on the sanctity of the new dates, on Wednesday, Mr. Jega said it was difficult for him to respond, saying he could only give assurances over aspects within the control of INEC. “That’s a very difficult question to answer. I have said not everything that has to do with the conduct of successful election is within the control of INEC,” Mr. Jega said.
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