Nigeria: Prof. Attahiru Jega appeals to Nigerians on elections

By Correspondent Chinyere Ogbonna – Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has appealed to Nigerians to endure the inconveniences they have had to go through during the on-going general elections, saying it is a necessary sacrifice they have had to make in order to ensure the credibility of the electoral process.

Professor Jega made the appeal while playing host to a delegation of the European Election Observation Mission and ECOWAS election monitoring team which paid him a courtesy visit at the Abuja headquarters of the commission.

He observed that the present situation whereby Nigerians had to sometimes spend the whole day to participate in the elections was a process that would be improved upon as the nation’s electoral process becomes stronger and more credible.

Speaking on the commission’s preparations for tomorrow’s presidential election, Professor Jega noted that procedures for voting would be more strictly complied with, adding that accreditation of voters would be strengthened.

He also told the delegations INEC had addressed some of the challenges of accreditation of voters.

According to the INEC boss, the commission have also taken steps to correct the omission of names of voters from the register at some polling centres across the country.

The INEC Chairman further stated that one of the challenges faced by the Commission is that it was supposed to ensure that both the accreditation and actual voting by voters should be made swift in spite of the expected large
turn-out at tomorrow’s polls.

Professor Jega expressed the hope that the presidential election would be better conducted than what obtained last Saturday.

He further stated that despite the expected larger turn-out of voters, the commission was committed to strengthening the commission’s logistics.

The INEC boss informed the delegation during the briefing that he held meetings with the thirteen National Commissioners and thirteen -seven Resident Electoral Commissioners of the electoral body with a view to ensuring that the presidential election was better conducted than the National Assembly elections.

Although he expressed appreciation for the praises Nigerians and the international community have so far heaped on the commission for the successful conduct of last Saturday’s poll, he however insisted that INEC is determined to improve on its performance.

The INEC boss stressed that the country had failed in previous elections and cannot afford to fail in this dispensation as there is a national consensus that the nation must get it right this time.