Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has opened up to the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room), saying that he received a letter from the military requesting for the reschedule of the nation’s general elections by at least six weeks in the first instance.
Professor Jega said that the letter from the military advised that he postpones the general elections on the grounds that the security agencies were engaged in a renewed battle against insurgency in the North-East that would require their full concentration.
However, the Situation Room conveyed to INEC its disappointment with the letter from the security agencies, pointing out that this amounted to the military’s abdication of its constitutional duties to provide security to citizens and to the Commission to enable it conduct elections and appeared contrived to truncate the democratic process in Nigeria.
“Situation Room is further worried that the military’s position also aims to blackmail and arm-twist the election management body away from its constitutionally guaranteed function of conducting elections. Situation Room also condemns this advisory by security agents that they cannot guarantee the security of citizens, election officials and materials during the election.
“The Situation Room calls for the resignation of military chiefs and security heads, including the Police, on account of their inability to exercise their constitutional responsibility to secure lives and property at all times, including during the elections.
“Situation Room also calls on Nigerians to be vigilant and be ready to protect this hard won democracy,” the civil society organisations said.
Meanwhile, at the meeting INEC held with all the registered political parties today, some parties favoured the re-scheduling of the elections while others kicked against it.
Those in favour are: 1. Action Alliance (AA ) 2. Action Congress of Democrats ACD 3. Alliance for Democracy AD 4. African Democratic Congress, ADC 5. Citizens popular Party, (CPP) 6. Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) 7. Labour Party (LP) 8. Mega Peoples Party MPP 9. New Nigeria Peoples Party NNPP 10. United Democratic Party UDP. 11. Peoples popular Movement PPM 12. Progressives People Alliance (PPA). 13.Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). And 14.Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
Parties against the re-scheduling of the elections are: 1.Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) 2. All Progressives Congress (APC) 3.United Peoples Party (UPP) 4. ACPN 5. Social Democratic Party (SDP). 6. KOWA 7. Indepednet Democrats (ID) 8. Hope Democratic Party 9 Africans Democratic Alliance (APA) 10. Accord Party.
On its part, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) abstained and National Conscience Party (NCP) was indifferent. [myad]