Elections: Council Of State In Crucial Talks

Prof. Attahiuru Jega, INEC boss.

Prof. Attahiuru Jega, INEC boss.

Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

A crucial meeting of Nigeria National Council of State presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan was going on at press time in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Thursday.

The meeting is expected to take a crucial decision on whether to postpone or go ahead with the presidential election slated for 14 February, 2015.

Professor Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is expected to brief the meeting on the preparation of the Commission for the polls.

This is against the background of calls for shift in the date of the elections by those who argued that INEC is not ready since millions of PVCs are yet to distributed to voters and other logistic challenges.

P.M.NEWS gathered that Jega may tell the members of the Council that INEC is ready as about 70 per cent of the PVCs have been distributed while the ballot papers have also been printed.

Jega was about to join the meeting as at the time of writing this report though he has arrived at the State House.

The APC which has opposed the calls for shift in date of the polls has a strong presence at the meeting which kicked off around 11:00 a.m.

General Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) led a strong delegation of his party which include governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Babatunde Raji Fashola (Lagos), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Tanko Almakura (Nasarawa), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara) and the deputy governors of Borno and Yobe states.

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General Yakubu Gowon, former heads of state Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as former President Shehu Shagari and former head of the Interim National Government Chief Ernest Shonekan are also attending the meeting. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is absent at the meeting.

Others at the meeting include Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu

Waziri Tambuwal, Attorney-General of the Federation Mohammed Bello Adoke, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyin Pius Anyim, National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki. People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governors of Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Cross River, Niger, Kogi, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Ondo, Taraba, Delta, Enugu, Ekiti, Plateau,

Jigawa, Katsina, Gombe and Bauchi States as well as the Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed were also present at the meeting.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, other service chiefs as well as the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba are also at the meeting.

Former Chief Justices of Nigeria, Justices Dahiru Mustapha and Alfa Bagore are also in attendance.

Ahead of the meeting the APC and General Muhammadu Buhari, had Wednesday called on members of the Council to reject any proposal to postpone the elections.

The APC governors also met last night in the residence of the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha in Abuja to forge a common front at the meeting today against a change in the date of the elections.

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