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INEC Can't Afford to Fail Nigerians - Jega Tells RECS
By Adebayo Hassan
Ahead of the March 28 and April 11 general elections, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, Wednesday, met with the Resident Electoral Commissioners, charging them not to disappoint Nigerians who are desirous of credible elections.
The meeting which held behind closed-doors was a routine operational session of the electoral body to review general issues relating to the forthcoming elections, the Spokesperson to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, told PREMIUM TIMES.
The outcome of the meeting doused anxiety generated by the purported plan of some RECs, allegedly loyal to Peoples Democratic Party-controlled Federal Government, to pass vote of no confidence in Mr. Jega.
A source at the meeting said Mr. Jega urged the RECs, who are the heads of INEC operations in the states of the Federation, to be more focused in order to deliver free, fair and credible elections to Nigerians.
In the his remarks, the source said, Mr. Jega sought the support and cooperation of Nigerians with INEC to ensure free, fair, and peaceful polls, adding that the Commission alone could not guarantee successful elections.
Meanwhile, as the meeting was underway, a group claiming to be original inhabitants of Abuja staged a protest at INEC headquarters over the use of card readers for validation of voters during the elections.
The protesters resisted the efforts of the Assistant Director, Security of the Commission, Victor Egho, to address them.
INEC conducted the field-testing exercise of the card readers in 12 states across the six geo-political zones on Saturday.
The Commission said it recorded 100 per cent success in verifying permanent voter cards of voters who participated in the mock election but admitted 41 per cent failure in the biometric authentication.
Civil societies organisations, under the aegis of Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room and the opposition All Progressives Congress voiced support for INEC on the use of card readers, while the ruling Peoples Democratic Party opposes the policy.
Source: The Guardian Newspaper