(INEC Chairman, Professor Jega)
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), headed by Attahiru Jega, has announced a shift in the dates of the 2015 general elections earlier scheduled to hold on February 14 and 28 respectively.
Following a series of marathon meetings today, Jega announced the postponement of the February 2015 presidential, national assembly, state assembly and gubernatorial elections.
According to him, ‘There are critical things that fall outside the control of an electoral management body.There are a number of issues that are critical to elections like security which is not under the control of INEC.I was invited to brief the Council of State on INEC’s preparedness for 2015 elections.The summary of my presentation to the COS is that INEC is substantially ready to conduct elections.In addition, in the delivery of election materials, INEC has made delivery to the states.INEC is capable of delivering free and fair elections.However, as I mentioned earlier, there are other factors to conduct while planning elections like security.I’ll like to reiterate here that INEC is an Electoral Mgt Body and not a security agency.In consideration of the advice by the security agencies, it will be unconscionable to have elections without adequate security.’
Speaking further, he said: ‘In consideration of the advice by the security agencies, it will be unconscionable to have elections without adequate security to play its traditional role in providing security during the elections.The questions from stakeholders has been:1) should INEC proceed with the elections despite consultations with the security agencies ..2) take into consideration the concerns and reschedule the date of elections. INEC not being a security agency and concern for the staff and observers during elections, INEC cannot guarantee protection. Under this circumstances, few EMBs will proceed with elections after the security consultations. Consequently the Comm has rescheduled the elections, Pres, Sen and HOA has been moved to Mar 28. Gov and SOA has been rescheduled to April 11th.We in INEC promise to deliver free, fair and credible elections.We implore the security agency to stick to their promise and commitment made to INEC.We wish to call on all Nigerians to accept this in good faith to deepen democracy in our country Nigeria.’
Below are screenshots of tweets from INEC’s verified twitter account @Inecnigeria with over 180,000 followers.
At the press conference in Abuja where Jega announced the postponement minutes ago.