The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has expressed deep worry over INECs stance that it could not provide security even after the general elections had been shifted over the same reason.
ANEEJ while reacting to the outcome of an inter-agency consultative Committee of Election Security meeting held on Monday the 23rd of February with a team from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the military and para-military organisations on the level of their preparedness for the General Elections, noted with disappointment that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega has once again reiterated the inability of the commission to guarantee security, and provide a platform for a free, fair and credible General Elections slated for March 28, and April,11,2015.
‘The said consultative meeting is the first between the INEC and the security agencies since the elections initially scheduled for February 14, 2015 were postponed by six weeks because the military were hesitant to guarantee security for INEC officials as well as tackle the hiccups trailing issue of non-distribution of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to all registered voters in the country’ ANEEJ observed.
‘This ugly trend is rearing its head again in spite of repeated assurances from President Goodluck Jonathan. We consider the nervous disposition of INEC as an ominous sign that portends ill for the March 28 and April 11 2015 Elections. While we commend the recent visit of the army chief to Baga to boost the morale of the Nigerian troops, we urge the National Security Adviser to Mr. President, Sambo Dasuki and the nation’s security chiefs to do everything within their powers to assure INEC, Nigerians and indeed the free world of adequate security at this critical point of Nigeria’s General Elections.
Anything less is unacceptable especially as the constitution does not sanction any kind of shift of the General Elections beyond the current dates of March 28, and April 11,” Rev. David Ugolor executive director ANNEJ said.
“We believe that the EU, the US, Canada and the international community must take a firm and resolute position concerning the elections in Nigeria. The authorities at this time as well should demonstrate patriotism and selflessness in forestalling any constitutional crisis in the country. On the contrary, if the Federal Government of Nigeria does not support INEC with needed security for the General Elections, it would be seen an open invitation to anarchy. The military authorities must continue to fight terror in the North-East for INEC to conduct peaceful and successful elections.
“We call on President Goodluck Jonathan, as the Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces, to provide all the necessary assistance to the Inter-Agency Committee on Election Security to have all the support needed to enable INEC to organize the elections scheduled for March 28 and April 11, 2015,” Ugolor said.