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No pressure to declare election inconclusive-Jega


The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega said there was no truth in allegation that he was under pressure to declare the election inconclusive. He asked why anybody would want an election they have worked hard to conduct be declared inconclusive.

On Rivers state Crisis: The chairman of INEC said that investigation has commenced on the INEC office that was burnt in Rivers state as the police has been informed.  He also said that they have asked for more security presence in all INEC offices across the country to forestall future incidents.

Misplaced Ballot: The chairman said that at the end of the election there was no incident of misplaced ballot. He said the introduction of overseers brought the incident of misplaced ballot to its barest minimum. On invalid votes, he believes they did sufficient voter education that ensured a reduction in the number of invalid votes. He said voting on the ballot that was done in a manner not clear were declared invalid. He believes that the percentage is likely to be smaller than in 2011 which was 11per cent.

Crowd control: He commended voters who came in their numbers. He said effort will be made to improve crowd control in subsequent elections. He said the commission provided twine for crowd control which was not used. He said this will be done in subsequent elections. He said the process is not perfect that they are doing their best and hope to improve. He said he welcome the observers and media so they can learn and improve.

Card Readers: he said they were overwhelmed by the level of failure of card readers. He said the number was alarming. He said in order not to disenfranchise Nigerians he asked that manual process be included. He said only 374 card readers of the 150,000card readers did not work which according to the chairman was 0.25per cent.

Violence: Apart from Rivers state, he said INEC lost two ad hoc staff in Bauchi state which Boko Haram attacked some polling units during the election. He condemned the attack and said the information has been passed to the authorities.

Unauthorised results: He said only INEC has authority to declare results and they are yet to receive any result. He urged the public to disregard results in the public. He said it was wrong to have declared the Ekiti result. He also said that he does not know the source of Femi Fani Kayode result that says PDP has won 23 states.  He advised the media to be careful of the source of their information on election result as they are mainly partisan.

Replaced ad hoc staff: He said they are investigating the allegation that political parties in Lagos and Rivers states were replacing the ad hoc staff with their party members.

Logistics: He said in 2011 they had used individuals and because of the problems they faced they decided to use the transport Union, but regrettably they witness serious lapses. In the FCT where everyone had expected everything to go smoothly the transporters refused to take INEC officials to the polling units demanding full payment against the MOU where they agreed to 50 per cent down payment and balance on completion of the assignment. He said the issue was resolved after they reached the leadership of the Union. He said despite the hiccups the transport arrangement was better than the 2011 arrangement.

The chairman expects that election results will start coming from Monday.