INEC scores itself high in Nigeria's Parliamentary Polls


Professor Attahiru Jega, the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Saturday ascribed the cases of violence that has been witnessed in some parts of the country in the National Assembly elections to a “very intense negative mobilization” and “do or die” mentality of some Nigerian politicians.

The boss of INEC also declared that overall, the polls have gone on very well in most parts of the country.

Jega spoke in a news conference this evening during which he addressed some of the issues that cropped up in today’s National Assembly elections.

The INEC Chairman was however quick to add that the incidence of violence witnessed across the country was very low relative to the number of polling units.

The Nigerian electoral Commission boss said the few cases of violence is not unexpected given the vastness of Nigeria and the type of politics being played by many politicians.

According to him, some politicians are still thinking in the past by thinking that they can use snatched ballot papers to rig elections and this has been responsible for the few cases of snatched ballot boxes across the country.

Jega however commended the security agencies for rising up to the occasion, noting that there have been instant arrests of some of the perpetrators of the violence.

The nation’s electoral umpire said seven people were arrested in Nassarawa State for trying to snatch ballot papers.

While commenting on Friday’s bomb blast at Suleja, Niger State, the INEC Chairman said the objective of the perpetrators is to scare people away from the elections, creates fear in the staff of the electoral commission and create an impression that Nigeria cannot conduct free, fair and credible elections.

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Jega who said that 13 people died in the incident and over 20 others are hospitalized in Suleja and Gwagwalada hospitals because of the injury they suffered in the bomb blasts however said the Commission is determine that those behind the bomb blasts did not succeed in their intentions.

The chief electoral umpire scored INEC high in the organization of parliamentary  election declaring that “in general, things have gone on well”.

Specifically, Jega said the elections have been conducted in peaceful atmosphere with electoral officers arriving early at the polling booths while accreditation started early in many places.

The Chairman of INEC however said the commission observed a few lapses in the conduct of the election. These include late arrival of INEC official to some polling units, inability of some people with voters’ card to see their names in the register which effectively disenfranchised them from voting.

According to him, the late arrival of INEC officials and the late start of the accreditation process have resulted into voting progressing late into the night in some places.

He said INEC has made appropriate security arrangements in the areas affected.

Jega, who commended the security agencies for their cooperation with INEC said the Commission will rectify all the problems identified before next Saturday’s presidential elections.


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