INEC Dissociates Self From Celebration

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The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has dissociated itself from a purported celebration of the success of the April elections and one year in office of its chairman, Attahiru Jega.

A statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by Mr. Kayode Idowu, Chief Press Secretary to Jega, said the endorsement of the commission was not secured for the purported celebration.

“Neither did the INEC Chairman and National Commissioners, who are purportedly being celebrated, give their blessings to the planned programme,”the statement said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme is being planned by a group called “Nigeria Vote-Count Campaigners” and is scheduled for Thursday, June 9 in Abuja.

The event is titled “Celebration of the widely-applauded April 2011 General Elections in Nigeria and one year in office of Professor Attahiru Jega and his team of National Commissioners”.

Idowu said invitation cards and a programme brochure bearing the INEC logo had been printed and issued to members of the public.

It noted that although a letter was written to the Commission on such a celebration, “the organisers did not wait for a response before going public with their preparations”.

“Much as INEC is overwhelmed by the appreciation by most Nigerians and the international community of the modest achievements in the April elections, the Commission is not inclined to go on a celebration binge.

“Rather, the Commission is presently undertaking a comprehensive review of the elections, so as to take lessons learnt from the process on board for future consolidation of the modest gains,” the INEC statement said.