21 INEC Commissioners Reject Postponement Of Elections + The Full Report Of The Just Concluded Meeting

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Any moment from now INEC Chairman, Mr Jega will brief the
media if the election will be holding on the 14th of February or
not. In the meantime, 21 INEC commissioners have rejected the postponement of
the elections. But Military and security chiefs at the meeting stood their
grounds that the elections must be postponed. 
While we await Mr Jega’s final decision, below is the outcome of the
meeting held this evening by INEC, party leaders and security chiefs as reported
by Premium Times.

Twenty one Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, of the
Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, have rejected a proposal to
postpone Nigeria’s general elections billed for February 14 and 28.
In a vote conducted Saturday by the INEC chairman, Attahiru
Jega, after he met with political parties and the civil society, 21 RECs said
the elections should continue as planned while 16 others voted in support of a
reschedule.  Nigeria has 37 RECs, each
for a state and the Federal Capital, Abuja.
The outcome of the vote came as Nigerians await INEC’s
decision on whether the elections are moved or not.
After 17 political parties voted for a postponement as
against 11 that argued for INEC to remain faithful to its time table, the mood
across the land suggested that INEC will capitulate to a demand by military and
security chiefs asking for a six weeks postponement on the presumed grounds
that they have a special operations to we against the six year insurgency which
appears to be spreading on a daily basis.
Civil society leaders, organized in support of credible and
transparent elections in Nigeria, otherwise called the Nigeria Civil Society
Situation Room, reacted sharply blasting the security chiefs accusing them of
fomenting a surreptitious coup against democracy.
In their own consultative meeting with the INEC top brass,
the Situation Room called for the resignation of military chiefs and security
heads including the Police “on account of their inability to exercise their
constitutional responsibility to secure lives and property at all times
including during the elections.”
Speaking for the group in its statement, Agianpe Ashang, a
senior programme officer at the  Policy
and Legal Advocacy Centre, PLAC, said the action of the security chiefs
“amounted to blackmail [to] arm-twist the Election Management Body away from
its constitutional guaranteed function of conducting elections.”  The group them asked Nigerians to defend
their hard won struggle to entrench democracy in the country.
Jibrin Ibrahim, a senior fellow at the Centre for Democracy
and Development, CDD, in Abuja, who was at the meeting, said Mr. Jega told the
meeting that security operatives informed INEC that they were commencing a six
weeks special operations against Boko Haram insurgents in the north eastern
corridors of the country and would rather not be distracted by the elections.
The opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, has rejected
any plan to postpone the election saying such calls are sponsored by President
Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling party to stave their imminent defeat at the
polls.
The reasoning among civil society members align with popular
enthusiasm for the election even in the north eastern regions where the
insurgency is active.
According to a political survey recently conducted by the
NOI polls, analysis by geo-political zones revealed that the North-West (89%)
and South-East (87%) regions accounted for the largest proportions of Nigerians
who expressed optimism for voting in the 2015 general elections when compared
to other regions, although a majority of residents in all the geo-political
zones expressed optimism in voting in the 2015 general elections, with a
minimum 76% (North Central). Also, respondents aged 46-60 and 18-21 years
showed more optimism for voting in the 2015 elections than other age-groups.
It is not clear what the commission’s eventual decision
would be with the latest voting pattern by the RECs.

Mr. Jega is expected to brief the media any moment from now.

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