Nigeria: Reactions – Bankole/Jega on National Assembly Poll

By Chinyere Ogbonna – Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr.Dimeji Bankole who contested in his home state south-west Nigeria, has reacted to the outcome of the 2011 National Assembly polls conducted on Saturday.

He described the outcome as a reflection of the wishes of the people in our national quest to enshrine an enduring democracy for the country. While commending the general peaceful conduct of the election, particularly in his constituency and Ogun state as a whole, Mr. Bankole thanked the electorate for trooping out en-mass to vote for candidates of their choices as parliamentarians at the National Assembly, stressing that their action after the initial hiccups exercise demonstrates an abiding faith in democracy as an acceptable and veritable path for the development of our great nation.

Mr. Bankole congratulated all the winners in the National Assembly election for their victory, noting that losers should take their losses in good faith as in any such exercise, there must be winners and losers.

He said for him, the race was not a life and death duel. Of more importance is building, maintaining and developing our democratic institution and possesses as a means towards true national development and greatness.

The Speaker commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the young men and women of National Youth Service Corps for successfully commencing the polls.

He however, condemned all those bent on scuttling the electoral process through violence, particularly through bombings, saying no nation has ever made progress through such means in addressing the challenges of national development.

Meanwhile, the election observer mission in Nigeria have scored INEC high in the conduct of last Saturday’s National Assembly polls. Speaking on the conduct of the election, the leader of the European Observer Mission in the country, Mr. Alojz Peterie, commended INEC for the peaceful conduct of the polls and urged Nigerians to conduct themselves in the same manner in subsequent elections.

He enjoined the security operatives to continue to live up to the expectation of all stakeholders during the elections.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega who said that all materials for the presidential election were ready, explained the circumstance that led to the printing of the re-run ballot papers for presidential election before the one for the main polls.

He said he was ready to defend all actions taken by the commission.

Professor Jega described the controversies over the issue and insinuations that he is working for some presidential candidates as an insult.

The INEC boss accused some politicians with vested interest in the matter and those who want to portray the commission as incapable of being the brains behind such stories.

Professor  Jega assured Nigerians the commission will continue to improve on the lapses experienced in last Saturdays poll.