February Dates Not Feasible- Okupe
INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega Threatens To Resign Over Election If Postponed.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has described the reports doing round on Saturday that elections dated are being shifted as false.
In an exclusive response obtained by NUJEurope, the electoral body
stated that INEC has not made any official announcement about Febeuary 14th polls. The message further hinted that meetings with civil societies and organizations are currently ongoing as at the time of this report.
In the same vein, Prof. Attahiru Jega has threatened to rather resign his appointment than postpone the scheduled February general elections in spite of the news on the reel of Presidential aide, Dr Doyin Akupe, who stated on Saturday that February dates would not be possible. Jega said nobody's demand, including that of the National Council of States (NCS), or any other institution, will make INEC to postpone the February general elections as scheduled. A source further said that Jega confided in them that he will appeal even a court order on this issue, and that only a Supreme Court order will make him shift ground.
The Senior Special Assistant to President, Dr Doyin Okupe maintained that "no party or candidate will benefit or be disadvantaged by a shift of dates."
"It is not enough for us to say we are ready for the elections if our level of preparations are such that will lead to inconclusive elections or will give grounds to the loser to raise issues that may lead to injustice or unnfairness or that may outrightly discredit the enyire process." Okupe stated via his post on the social media on Saturday.
In a sharp reaction to the reports of postponement escalating on the reels of media interviews granted by Doyin Okupe, the INEC explained via its official twitter page that "@inecnigeria: INEC has not made any official announcement about Feb. 14th polls. Meetings still ongoing #Nigeriadecides"
A highly reliable source close to the INEC Chairman who pleaded anonymity disclosed that Prof. Jega told a group of close friends to which he belongs that he would would rather resign his appointment and save his personal and professional integrity as an academic than be humiliated by the act of postponing the elections. The INEC Chairman was said to have dropped this hint against the backdrop of stories making rounds in the media that the NCS may advise against holding the February election, using the inexcusable excuse of poor distribution of PVCs. He said in spite of all the efforts put by his commission and with over 80% of PVCs made available, it will be dishonest for anybody to use this exercise to call for the postponement of the elections.Our source said Jega told them that if postponement is forced on the commission, then the only honourable option open to him is to resign.
The source concluded by saying that it is Jega's view both as a professor of Political Science and his experience as INEC's Chairman that any postponement of the election would cause more harm to the country than good.
The postponement news went wirld across media platforms on Saturday. The Acting President of Nigeria Union of Journalists Europe Council, Prince Lashley Oladigbolu advised that the story must be followed closely as it was ruse by some foreign media to throw the nation into confusion.
"It's Associated Press that caused the problem this morning. The foreign media and their agenda! "@AP: BREAKING: Official: Nigeria postponing Feb. 14 elections so multinational force can secure Boko Haram areas". Lies. The Truth is Election Not Postponed by INEC http://t.co/f814zqqf8E via nujenews.
Nigerians should not give in to confusions amidst untrue stories by foreign media.
We understand their schemes." Oladigbolu stated.
INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega would be addressing the newsmen by 5pm later today(Saturday) by the end of consultations.
The issue of postponing the February elections has been making waves for sometime now, and it took a new dimension when the National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Sambo Dasuki, joined the fray in London last month.