By Akin Akande, Abuja
The credibility or otherwise of the 2015 general elections has been hinged on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Alliance for Credible Election (ACE) on Monday made this observation noting that the electoral body should be held responsible for whatever happens after the elections.
Speaking on INEC preparation towards the 2015 elections, while addressing journalists in Abuja, Emma Ezeazu, ACE General Secretary, said for Nigeria to have a credible elections in 2015, the voters register must not only be updated, but also be a product of a correct legal procedure.
“On the strength of this we find it inexcusable and unacceptable the antics and actions of the commission on its intention to compile, maintain and update the national voters’ register, which shall include the names of all persons entitled to vote in any federal, state or local government or area council elections as stated in Section 9(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. We also call on INEC to release and make public a comprehensive plan for the nationwide continuous voter registration,” he said.
The ACE scribe said that despite the disclosure by INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, that the commission would soon commence a nationwide continuous voter registration exercise ahead of the 2015 general elections, INEC has still not engaged in sensitizing the Nigerian citizens on exactly when the continuous voter registration exercise will commence and how the exercise will be conducted.
Ezeazu said the continuous voter registration exercise “in accordance with the stipulated law as stipulated in Section 10(1) of the 2010 Electoral Act that there shall be continuous registration of all persons qualified to be registered voters. INEC has over the time acknowledged the need for continuous voter registration and at each point assured Nigerians that it will soon embarked on the exercise.
Unfortunately, the commission is yet to bring out a clear cut mechanism for the exercise.”
He called on INEC to give immediate attention to the transfer of registered voters according to the provisions of the law and to also ensure that voters are not disenfranchised, insisting that the commission should ensure that proper upgrade of the register is done and completed before the 2015 elections.
This was as he also said that INEC should with immediate effect embark on nationwide constituency delimitation early enough before the 2015 elections, adding, “INEC should review the number and location of polling stations in the entire country to reflect the population distribution as the present arrangement is outdated and do not reflect the current population distribution.”
Ezeazu however said that in the spirit of credible elections, “we demand that INEC embarks on publication of election results polling unit by polling unit. This will promote the integrity of the commission and further enhance transparency in our election process.”
By Akin Akande, Abuja