Friday, April 8, 2011

News On Nigeria Election : No polls in 63 districts

The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC on Thursday announced the postponement of National Assembly elections in 15 senatorial districts and 48 federal constituencies spread across 27 states of the federation.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, made the announcement while addressing journalists on the commission’s preparedness for tomorrow’s rescheduled polls.

Jega explained that the shift was imperative to enable the commission print additional ballot papers to cater for the shortfall that resulted from their being used in the botched April 2 polls.

He added that with the shift, logos of political parties that were missing in the ballot papers would now be inserted in the new ones that would be re-presented.

Sources had on Tuesday exclusively reported that INEC might shift polls in some senatorial and Federal constituencies following the use of ballot papers in areas where elections took place before they were suddenly stopped.

Some of the parties whose logos were omitted included the Congress for Progressive Change, the Labour Party, the Accord Party, the Progressive Peoples Alliance and the Congress for Democratic Change.

According to a list made available to the journalists, the states worst hit by the shift in senatorial elections are: Ekiti and Plateau where all three senatorial districts were affected.

For the House of Representative contest, polls will not hold in five federal constituencies in Ogun and Kaduna States each.

In Ekiti, Delta, Lagos, Kano, Gombe and Anambra states, election will not hold in three federal constituencies each.

Jega said, “For example, in some areas a good quantity of ballot papers had been used and it is not possible to reprint enough replacement ballot papers before the elections.

“Also in a few constituencies, party names and logos were missing on ballot papers.

“While some of these resulted from human errors in compiling the names of qualified candidates and parties for the elections, others are related to sudden changes emanating from judicial pronouncements on party nominations.

“These challenges dictate that fresh ballot papers be printed prior to conducting the elections.”

He said that INEC had made strenuous efforts to get these ballot papers printed within the available time.

Jega said, “Given the security requirements of the printing of ballot papers and the inability of domestic and international companies to deliver on time, it has become imperative that sufficient time be given for the printing of these ballot papers.

“Consequently, while elections will generally take place next Saturday, it has become inevitable to postpone the polls in a few affected constituencies, that is, 15 senatorial districts and 48 federal constituencies.”

He said the commission took stock and reviewed the lapses which led to the botched attempt to hold the elections and came up with measures to prevent a re-occurrence.

According to him, the commission has since last Saturday worked tirelessly to address the noticed lapses.

He said “Thus, result sheets have not only been delivered to the country, but have been received by states and local government areas nationwide.

“Similarly, other election materials needed at the state and Local Governments Areas have been supplied.

“Logistic challenges have been addressed and we have had further consultations with political parties, security services and other stakeholders to address other challenges that emerged last Saturday.

“Consequently, all is now set for the National Assembly elections to hold across the country on Saturday.”

Further, Jega noted that the commission observed that state governors ignored several appeals not to go round polling units with armed police escorts during the April 2 polls.

Consequently, he reiterated his appeal, adding that the Police high command had been duly informed and was prepared to act.

He also enjoined parents and community leaders to keep their under-age children away from polling centres because any minor who attempted to vote would be arrested and prosecuted.

The INEC boss implored political parties to be orderly and peaceful during the elections, adding that voters who chose to stay behind after voting must act with decorum.

He stressed that arrangements had been put in place to arrest those engaged in disorderly conduct be they political thugs or vigilantes.

Latest News On  Nigeria Elections

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