ATTAHIRU Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, seized the occasion of the presentation of the Certificate of Return of General Mohammadu Buhari, the president elect, to glorify the commission’s conduct in the March 28 presidential and National Assembly election. Jega’s praise for INEC is coming on the heels of the shoddily organised election which was marked with irregularities, late arrival of INEC, card reader failure, under-aged voting and the disenfranchisement of many voters who trooped out to vote but had to go home because of the card reader challenge before it was announced that voter verification should be done manually.
At the presentation ceremony on Wednesday, April 1, Jega, attributed the successful conduct of the elections to the contributions of Nigerians and security agencies. According to him, the commission performed creditably under the very difficult circumstances and the conduct of the election could not have been possible without the contributions of the security agencies, led by the police and Brigadier General Johnson Olawunmi, director general, National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, as well as the corps members that served as ad-hoc staff. “We will like to use this opportunity to express our appreciation to all Nigerians for the support they gave to the commission to see the successful conduct of this elections. We have tried our best under all circumstances, but we are impressed that large number of Nigerians capitalised on the opportunity and came out to vote.
“It means that it is important to keep on performing to improve Nigeria’s electoral process. It is important that we do this for the integrity of our democracy and the elections in our country. We pledge to all Nigerians that as a commission, we will continue to do our best under all circumstances to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections. I will like at this point to acknowledge the contributions of a number of stakeholders to the successful conduct of the presidential elections. I will particularly want to acknowledge the contributions of our permanent staff that worked tirelessly under very difficult challenges to discharge their jobs.
“I will equally want to thank the director general of NYSC, including the young men and women participating in the scheme that also ensured successful conduct of the election. We have used many people as ad-hoc staff, about 70,000 of them that did well, which we will equally use for the next elections in the state. To all of you, we thank and commend you most sincerely and urge you to use the same manner you worked during the presidential election, for the governors and state Assemblies on April 11,” he said.
— Apr. 13, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT