2015 Elections: Jega Cancels Media Briefing

Prof. Attahiru Jega, INEC chairman.

Prof. Attahiru Jega: advises Nigerian voters

Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

As preparations for the general elections gather momentum, the  Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,  Prof Attahiru Jega, Wednesday cancelled the much awaited media briefing on the readiness of INEC for the big task.

Feelers from INEC indicate that the event, which was to take place in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, was postponed “because of overriding commitment.”

The Council of State is expected to deliberate on election matters on Thursday.

Jega was expected to clear the air on reports about the possible postponement of the elections, eventhough he has repeatedly insisted the elections would go on as scheduled.

According the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, Jega has been under intense pressure to shift the polls and his chat with the media would have laid that speculation to rest.

INEC has faced logistics challenges, one of which is the poor distribution of  Permanent Voter’s Cards.

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This challenge has led INEC to extend the deadline for PVC collection to Sunday, 8 February, 2015.

The distribution of the cards to be used to vote in the 2015 general elections which will begin on 14 February was earlier scheduled to end last Saturday.

According to INEC, the extension was intended to give registered voters yet to collect their PVCs the opportunity to do so in readiness for the February 2015 general elections.

“INEC hereby calls on duly registered persons not to delay in going to collect their cards before the expiration of the new deadline.

“The Commission reaffirms its determination to make the 2015 elections free, fair, credible and peaceful; and urges all stakeholders, including voters, to spare no effort in working towards the same objective,” Kayode Idowu, INEC’s spokesman said.

Another troubling dimension to the preparations of INEC is the report that contract has just been awarded for the printing of ballot papers for the presidential election on 14 February, a time considered too short for the papers to be delivered to INEC and to be distributed nationwide.

INEC is also expected to train over 900,000 ad hoc staff for the elections.

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