Thursday, December 4, 2014

2015: Jega says elections in N’East depend on security

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday in Abuja stated that the conduct of the 2015 general elections in the North-East would depend on advice from security agencies.
According to the commission, only assurances from security agencies on the safety of its personnel, materials as well as free atmosphere will determine whether election will hold in the crisis-prone states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in 2015.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, stated this in an interview with journalists during the opening ceremony of a two-day strategic stakeholder’s policy dialogue on promoting peaceful elections in 2015 in Abuja on Wednesday.
The United Nations also used the occasion to warn politicians against the ‘do or die’ politics and likely factors that could propel crisis in the coming elections.
Jega, however, expressed the hope that before February 2015, the various security challenges facing the country would have been addressed to give way for the conduct of free and safe polls.
The event was organised by the United Nations Development Programme, Democratic Governance for Development Programme and supported by the Institute of Peace Conflict and Resolution and the Transition Monitoring Group.
Jega said the commission was putting arrangement in place towards ensuring that the Internally Displaced Persons were registered and participated fully in the forthcoming polls.
He said, “As an election management body, INEC is prepared to conduct elections everywhere in this country. As for the security challenges, INEC is not a security agency; we rely on the advice, cooperation and support of security agencies to be able to secure our materials, to secure our personnel and to enable us to have a free atmosphere within which to conduct elections.
“We are hopeful that before February 2015, a lot of security challenges will be addressed so that there would be sufficient normalcy to conduct elections at that time. So, at this point, I can tell you that we are doing our best to ensure that elections are conducted everywhere in this country in February of 2015.”
The INEC chairman, however, expressed concern over the Boko Haram incessant terror attacks in the North-East.
He said, “We have to remain hopeful; we all know that our security agencies are doing their best. You can’t give up hope, you can’t just assume that things will still be getting from bad to worse; you have to assume and hope that things will get better and our hope is that things will get better before February, 2015.”

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