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APC welcome INEC's electoral reforms

25 August 2014, 19:29

Lagos - The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) welcomed recent commitments by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) leaders to hold credible elections next year.

National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said three issues stood out comments credited to the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, namely the disallowing of hooded security personnel, that security paraphernalia in future elections should be under the control of INEC and that the commission will use e-card readers for the 2015 general elections.

The APC spokesman however said it would hold Jega to his promises to avoid a repeat of the situation in the past when promises made by the electoral chief were not kept.

"During the voter's registration exercise, Prof. Jega vowed that anyone who engages in double or multiple registrations would be prosecuted.However, some parties who probably had an advanced knowledge that his statement was an empty threat apparently encouraged their members to engage in double or multiple registration, thus gaining undue advantage over others, yet they were never prosecuted," Mohammed said.

"Also, during the last Ekiti Governorship Election, Jega announced that colour-coded ballot papers would be used in different local governments to prevent election fraud, but that never happened and no reason was given for the failure. This is why we intend to hold Prof. Jega to every word he said in connection with the key issues mentioned above,"he added.

Mohammed recalled that before the Osun governorship election earlier this month, the party warned that the use of hooded security personnel would encourage hoodlums with access to police or DSS uniforms to invade the state and perpetrate mayhem in the name of providing security.

"Sadly, that is exactly what happened during the election. In fact, media reports have said at least one person is now being prosecuted after he and others were found wearing black T-shirts with the inscription 'Police' in front and 'DSS' on its back during the Osun election. Is there any clearer evidence that some of those who came to Osun in hoods were actually fake security agents?"he queried.

He also recalled that on May 26th, 2014, the APC issued a statement in which it tasked INEC to immediately commence the process that would lead to the use of the e-card reader for the elections in Ekiti and Osun States, if indeed the electoral body is committed to ensuring that the polls are free, fair and transparent.

"If that advice had been heeded by INEC, perhaps the allegations of electoral fraud, and the litigation following the elections in both states, would not have arisen."

- CAJ News


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