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Jega assures on credible elections in 2015

05 March 2014, 16:03

Abuja - The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Tuesday said that the commission was fully prepared to conduct credible elections in 2015 despite challenges.

Jega stated this in Abuja at a “Roundtable on Preparing for the 2015 general elections – Arresting the teething problems in the bud" organised by the Rule of Law Development Foundation, a non-governmental organisation.

He said that the commission had learnt a lot from the experiences of the 2011 elections and had taken measures, especially in the last 18 months, to conduct a better election in 2015.

"Learning from the experiences of 2011, especially regarding the need for early preparations, the commission has undertaken the task of fundamental restructuring of its bureaucracy.

"It has established new policies to guide its work and embarked on far-reaching planning of its operations through a strategic election project plan and election management system," he said.

Jega said that the commission had concluded plans to issue all duly registered voters with permanent voter cards which would be swiped with card readers to ensure 100 per cent voter authentication.

He said that a programme for the delimitation or review of electoral constituencies and creation of additional polling units had commenced, adding that training and retraining of its staff was underway.

The INEC chairman gave assurance that with the measures put in place by the commission, the prospects of conducting better elections were bright.

"From the foregoing, we are convinced that the prospects of having remarkably much better elections in 2015 are bright.

"As far as INEC is concerned, the 2015 general elections will see Nigeria take its rightful place in the comity of nations where electoral democracy is being consolidated,’’ he said.

The INEC chairman identified some of the major constraints confronting the commission as insecurity, funding, attitude of the political class, apathetic citizenry and delay in amendment to legal framework.

Others, he said, included the non-completion of the review of the electoral constituencies and polling units and the prosecution of election offenders.

The chairman of the roundtable was former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Lawal Uwais.

Participants included Oke Wali, National President of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Prof. Epiphany Azinge, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advance Legal Studies, Joseph Daudu, SAN, was the convener of the roundtable.

-  NAN

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