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Elections must hold as scheduled, says NPAN


President, Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nduka Obiagbena.

President, Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nduka Obiagbena.

The Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) has added its voice to other notable Nigerians, insisting that the general elections must hold as scheduled.

In a statement issued yesterday at the end of an extra-ordinary meeting of the association and signed by its President, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, NPAN said: “The general elections must hold on March 28th and April 11th as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The election must produce an outcome and Nigerians must rally round whoever emerges the winner.”

The association stressed that “the election is for and by the Nigerian people and it must be free, fair and held in such a way that it will deepen the nation’s democracy such that at the end of the electoral process, Nigeria must be the winner.”

NPAN called on Nigerians, particularly politicians, to eschew all forms of violence before, during and after the election. “We call on the people of Nigeria, especially political leaders across the nation, to eschew every form of violence. The prevalent do-or-die attitude is unnecessary, unhelpful and unhealthy for our system of democracy. We must all say no to violence before, during and after the election,” the group said.

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  • INEC and Jega are ready for elections to take place all over the country including the 3 NE states and IDP areas.
    This is the decision General Minimah was claiming INEC was yet to make. “Jega ….said that the commission had made full preparations to enable Internally Displaced Persons to vote during the elections. This, he explained, would apply to IDPs from areas that are worst hit by the insurgency, specifically Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. The plan, according to him, is to create voting centres in safe areas. He said where applicable, the voting centres would be located close to the IDP camps. Jega added that the arrangement would require special provisions for security and the commission
    would be counting on the various agencies for assistance.” Jega never needed permanent government infrastructures to conduct elections.
    Minimah said Yobe and Adamawa states have been liberated completely and we look forward to the reinstatement of
    structures of government and governance. “I am also sure you know that in Borno State, out of the 27 local governments,
    we have three local governments remaining: Abadam, Kalabaldi and Gwoza and we are optimistic that with time, we will liberate those LGAs.” Minimah corroborated Jega’s stance that elections can be held now in those areas.
    From the foregoing, Jega, who general Minimah said would decide the time of elections in NE, has decided the time is NOW. Minimah may just be laying the foundation for Jonathan’s Interim National Government with his excuses, since to have the ING, election must be protracted past May 29,2015, Jonathan’s last day in office. Minimah should not be
    telling Jega when to have elections, he should be providing security where and when Jega asks for it.


  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    Even this useless man who is owing his workers salaries in excess of 8 months is now making orders!!! Nigeria is a funny place where criminals are holding sway – from a senile, illiterate certificate forger, perjurer and coup plotter gunning for the Presidency, to his sponsor who ordinarily ought to be behind bars before that damning AIT documentary. Shame on us all.

    • Johnson Olasinde

      You are the most useless, you never reason like a normal human being at all in your past and present comments. How do you know he is owning his worker eight months salary? Are you working for him? Thank God at least his is an employer of labours. What have you done yourself to help the multitudes of our youths who are looking for employment? Rather you sit down there begging for money from Jonathan and the PDP to survived yeye dey smell.

  • Elder (Dr.) Chukwuma Nwaonicha

    I want to use this medium to commend and congratulate INEC for job done so far. However, there are many challenging issues to be addressed that affect the states and the national stability. Based on this, the issue of PVC and Card Reader comes to mind in addition to security issues, training of INEC staff on the use of Card Reader, the working or operational mechanism of the Card Reader as related to the Central Processing Unit (CPU) or collecting center (at the States capital or at Abuja), technicalities of the Card Reader and the product quality of the card reader, among other issues.

    It should be noted that a Card Reader is the generic term for an input device that reads flash memory cards. It can be a standalone device that connects to a computer via USB (a USB flash drive, also known under a variety of other names, is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. USB flash drives are typically removable and rewritable, and physically much smaller than an optical disc) or it may be integrated into a computer, printer, multifunction device. In a nut shell, Card Reader is like an ATM that can accept or reject a card depending on the information required. Hopefully, I believe that INEC Card Readers should be the standard type Card Readers product and not sub-standard Card Readers made in China or made in Taiwan because majority of these
    are inferior products. INEC has to think twice before using the Card Reader otherwise the election will be a big mess. As noted, the Card Reader may be connected to the CPU through network or remotely connected. In any way, some part of the Nation is not internet accessible; therefore many voters will be denied the opportunity to vote on the day of elections: May 28 and April 11, 2015.

    As noted, there were many flaws detected during INEC’s test run exercise in 12 selected states in the country. The technological device is to ensure credible elections but the flaws recorded during the test run exercise were too
    fundamental to be ignored; perhaps the use of the card readers should be suspended for future elections so as to enable proper test running of the device, and give every registered voter the opportunity to vote. I am not a pessimist but an optimist, but the truth needs to be told, this card readers may flop on Election Days. Although, the INEC has reiterated its decision to deploy Smart Card Readers (SCRs) for the 2015 general election, stating that the main objective was to verify Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) presented by voters at polling units and ensures that they are genuine. In view of this, the commission said: INEC nevertheless took a serious view of the high rate of the SCRs’ failure to authenticate voters’ fingerprints in some areas, particularly in Ebonyi State, and has decided to thoroughly investigate the cause; as well as
    repeat the public demonstration in that state. As noted, there are three finger sensitivity levels: Medium, Low and
    High. High sensitivity setting makes accreditation very difficult, while low sensitivity setting makes accreditation very easy. I urge INEC to further test the card readers. There were many incidents of failed attempts in capturing biometrics of
    prospective voters, about 41 per cent failure rate of the Smart Card Readers in cross matching the fingerprints of card holders to their cards is not a pass mark. Some cards were rejected; including fingerprints and “Good Enough” is not an option. I believe that Nigerians and international community cannot accept good enough result from Presidential Election due to Card Readers failure.

    It is a fact that the use of SCRs in the 2015 general elections for authenticating voters will add tremendous transparency
    and credibility to the accreditation process on Election Day. On the other hand, it may add more problems than expected; hence INEC has to rethink before using this device. The Card Readers could have been tested or experimented upon long time ago, perhaps with Local Government elections. INEC litmus test of the Card Readers may be too late and too little.

    As noted, many countries in Africa have adopted biometrics in the registration of voters such as Sierra Leone, Kenya,
    Somaliland, Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Zambia and Malawi. In some cases as in Ghana and Kenya, it led
    to delays as queues stretched out beyond imagination. However, Kenya’s general elections held in 2013 with presidential, federal and provincial legislative and governorship elections all held in one day had been expected to be the most Hi-Tech election in Africa. INEC needs to do a better job for Nigerians to avoid political and civil crises in the Nation. As informed, INEC may use the Card Reader and the traditional voting process during elections to avoid catastrophe of the polity. If used alone, the INEC card reader may disenfranchise millions of Nigeria, thereby making the coming general elections not free and fair. This will amount to rigging out many Nigerians who are duly registered to vote. I therefore suggest that the Temporary Voter’s Card also be used. The ball is in the INEC’s court. Thank You, The Elder.

  • Paul Sani M

    and who says it will not hold before? kai you people like heating up the polity of this nation. do you even realise the enormous power you posses? with the print media you can do and undo so[please use it wisely. #GEJ4naija

  • Chim52

    Everybody wants to emulate Buhari :- DICTATING their desire irrespective of facts that contradict their views. APC is a major defaulter of this undemocratic thought-process. It is no more uncommon, even for a taxi driver to tell us ‘The sun MUST shine, It MUST rain for 24 hrs. We are gradually moving towards a country of too many chefs with less kitchen assistants:- Customers MUST be served a particular dish, and they MUST enjoy it. Haba, what’s going on.
    Are we sitting on the EDGE ? Is it anxiety or something else? Humility has taken a ruthless beating. This pretentious pomposity trascends all social classes, even or moreso ‘PROFs’.
    I am eagerly waiting for a political commentator who would ‘DISSECT’ the two ‘WARRIORS’:- GEJ & BUHARI objectively, ie without intrinsic or extrinsic motivations.
    The forthcoming elections would be won or lost by SLOGANS, LACK OF SERIOUS and SUBSTANTIVE DEBATES (facts figures and audit). We need to transform this culture.