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[UPDATED] New developments to be addressed before elections, says Jega

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THE Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has said that there were `new developments’ that needed to be addressed before the conduct of the 2015 general elections.

Jega made the remark on Saturday in Abuja when he and other officials of the commission met with representatives of the registered political parties at the commission’s headquarters.

He said that the inputs of the leaders of the political parties were important in addressing the new developments.

He said that though the commission had its regular meeting with the political parties last week; it now became necessary to hold another meeting before the commencement of the 2015 elections.

“The main purpose of this meeting is to update you on the commission’s preparation for the 2015 elections, draw your attention to some new developments and get your inputs as to how the commission should address them.

“This meeting will raise the new developments and get your inputs as to how the commission should address the challenges,’’ he said.

In his remark, Dr Yunusa Tanko, the Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), said the council had been advocating that it should be considered whenever the commission was taking any decision.

“The council has right from onset been making tremendous contributions to our democracy.

“But unfortunately, the issues that all of us have been raising long before now have never been considered or put into perspective,’’ Tanko said.

He urged the leaders of the political parties who attended the meeting to put Nigeria first in their responses to the new developments mentioned by Jega.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that officials of the commission and the representatives of the registered political parties later went into a closed door meeting.

Jega is expected to brief newsmen on the decisions reached during the closed door meeting by 5p.m. (NAN)

‘New developments’ in planned election, says INEC

THE Idependent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met on Saturday to discuss what the body’s chairman said were “new developments” about next week’s scheduled presidential election.

Africa’s most populous nation and leading economy is set to go to the polls next Saturday, with mounting concerns about security and the distribution of voter cards.

The head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, told delegates before a closed-door session that the gathering was designed to give an update on preparations.

But he also said it was “in particular to draw your attention to some new developments and to get your input as to how the commission should address these new developments”.

A news conference is scheduled for later on Saturday.

Jega has been under pressure to announce a delay to the presidential and parliamentary poll because not all of the 68.8 million registered voters have received their cards.

The country’s northeast is also in the grip of a violent Boko Haram insurgency, which has left hundreds of thousands of people displaced and as a result unable to cast their ballot.

At the same time, Nigerian, Chadian, Nigerien and Camerounian troops have begun a joint fight-back to curb the threat to regional security from the Islamist group.

A report said military top brass had told INEC that no soldiers will be available to provide security if the election takes place on February 14. It said chiefs of defence staff and national security advisor had written to Jega earlier this week “strongly advising” a six-week delay in polling.


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