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Democracy group calls for peace over polling units

11 September 2014, 21:21

Abuja - The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), the pro-democracy organisation, has called on political groups and stakeholders from across the country to maintain calm over plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create new polling units.

The group in a statement by its Chairman, Ibrahim Zikirullahi, observed with consternation the debates raging over the creation of new units.

“We therefore wish to use this medium to call on all groups and interested stakeholders from across Nigeria to maintain peace, remain calm and not to use the issue to overheat the polity.  As we seek more clarifications from INEC on this important exercise, which seeks to de-congest existing polling units by creating new ones, it is our view that is a bit too hasty to begin to take potshots at the Commission.

READ: Jega staying put

"What is needed now is not ethnic or sectional rage, but a constructive dialogue that would address the fundamental issue on the ground. TMG is therefore of the view that Nigerians must necessarily digest the facts and considerations that INEC has put forward regarding what informed the creation of the new polling units,” the statement read.

TMG noted the lack of clarity with some of the figures and explanations provided by INEC and was convinced that people needed more time to fully apprehend what the commission had done with regards to creating more polling units.

“We believe the cries of marginalization and the accusations that INEC has a hidden agenda favouring a section of the country, to the detriment of the other, are grave allegations that should not be made lightly. TMG believes that all sides need to listen to one another and reason together so that the conversation can be carried on in a manner that will illuminate the discourse for the benefit of all Nigerians.”

The group also noted that since coming on board in 2011, and within the context of the numerous challenges confronting Nigeria’s electoral process, the current INEC leadership under Professor Attahiru Jega had demonstrated a resolve to sanitize the nation’s electoral process.

"In the course of this journey, there have been many lessons, which all point to the need to build strong institutions, instead of placing the crushing weight of expectations on the shoulders of an individual."

- CAJ News


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