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INEC: Election is Successful

Posted by By Lucky Fiakpa in Lagos,Oma Djebah, Danjuma Michael in Katsina, Roland Ogbonnaya and Mathew Onah in Yola, on 2007/04/15 | Views: 963 |

INEC: Election is Successful


The Chairman of Ind-ependent National Electoral Comm-ission, INEC, Ma-urice Iwu has expressed satisfaction with the governorship and state assembly elections held yesterday across the country.

•Obasanjo, Yar’Adua agrees •Buhari, Atiku Disagree

The Chairman of Ind-ependent National Electoral Comm-ission, INEC, Ma-urice Iwu has expressed satisfaction with the governorship and state assembly elections held yesterday across the country.

Also President Olus-egun Obasanjo and Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, who is also governor of Katsina also commended the conduct of the polls. But All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Presidential candidate, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and Vice President Atiku Abu-bakar who is the Pres-idential candidate of AC condemned the polls which they said were marred by irregularities.

Iwu told newsmen in Abuja, that he was satisfied with the logistic arrangement for the polls, pointing out that reports from all over the country showed that there were not much problems.

"Voting has been so far so good, with few skirmishes here and there; people have been conducting themselves pea-cefully.

"We are very happy with the logistics and our surveillance system is working fine,'' the chairman added.

The chairman denied reports that some materials were stolen in Enugu, explaining that the said materials arrived in the state capital only yesterday morning.
Iwu also confirmed that "stifling security checks'' in Lagos affected the early release of materials for the polls.
He also acknowledged that ballot papers in four unidentified local government areas did not provide for one political party, but added that arrangements had been made to take care of the problem.
Responding to the protest by the governorship candidate of Accord Party in Niger State, Senator Isa Mohammed for the none inclusion of his photograph and those of house of assembly candidates of his party from the ballot paper, Iwu said Maina's photographs and those of some candidates in Lagos State did not appear on the ballot because they did not submit them within the deadline set by the Commission.
Iwu said it was a demonstration of the unseriousness with which some politicians held INEC in the mindset of 'business as usual,” adding that the ballots had been printed by the time the politicians responded with the pictures.
He said the Comm-ission decided to err on the side of caution instead of certain politicians to hold the rest of the country to ransom, saying if such candidates had been disqualified meanings would have been read into it.
On the incident of not locating names on the voters register, he said voters ought to show up at the centres where they registered and not elsewhere. Iwu also blamed the situation on the lukewarm attitude shown by voters when the lists were pasted for verification across the country, saying "our job is just to discern the true intentions of the voters and that is what we promised Nigerians.”
He said substitutions in the name of ad-hoc staff earlier trained for the elections was due to fresh facts on the background of such individuals made available by security agencies which could not be ignored, saying he would rather deny such persons a chance to earn some money than to cause hitches for the elections.
On the issue of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as PDP governorship candidate for Imo State, he said the decision of the Supreme Court remains binding on INEC and that Charles Ugwu's name was on the ballot because the papers had been printed long before now.
He said special ballots reserved for run-off elections were however, quickly dispatched to Imo to take care of the situation, saying "whether Ugwu's name is on the ballot is not the issue.”
On the posting of results on the internet, he said results will not be done piecemeal until all have come and announced by INEC so as to avoid the publication of fake and incorrect versions.
President Olusegun Oba-sanjo who cast his vote at his Ita-Eko resident at exactly 9.40 a.m., yesterday, also expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the election.
The President arrived at African Church Grammar School, Asasin's compound Totoro/Sokori Ward 11 at about 9.30 am, did accreditation for about five minutes before casting his vote at 9.40 a.m.
He said: "As you can see here, people have started voting before I came and the exercise has been peaceful.
"This morning, I tried to go round to find out what the situation is throughout the country. One or two places there have been some little incidents over the night (referring to killings in Kano and Port Harcourt).
"Otherwise the situation in the country is very satisfactory, and as you can see here now, people have started voting, even before I came here and they are peaceful".
According to Obasanjo, the Kano killing was very unfortunate. "It is not political, it is intra-religious and yesterday I called on the Sultan of Sokoto who is, as you know, the head of Muslim in the country and he is already doing something about it," he said.
"The Port Harcourt killings, they told me, is purely criminally motivated", he said
The Peoples Dem-ocratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate and governor of Katsina state, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, also commended INEC for its level of preparedness in the conduct of Saturday’s gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections.
Yar’Adua who made the commendation yesterday shortly after casting his vote at Modoji Polling Centre in Katsina also expressed satisfaction with the massive turnout of voters in the state.
He said without Nigerians having total support for democracy, the kind of turnout recorded would not have been possible, adding that “if the turnout and arrangement is as I have seen here, I think they have done a splendid job”.
The PDP presidential candidate who was at the polling station at 11.20 am, accompanied by the Minister of State for Education, Dr Abba Sayyadi and other top government functionaries said anybody who advocates that people should vote and remain behind at the polling stations is against the stipulated electoral law.
According to him, “anybody who says or advocates that people should vote and remain within the vicinity of the polling booth is telling people to disobey or break the law and I don’t think it is right”.
On his part the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) presidential flag bearer, General Muhammadu Buhari, while fielding questions shortly after casting his vote at Sarkin Yara Ward in Daura, said he had received complaints on the conduct of the election at some places and has channeled them to the appropriate authority for necessary action. He however urged Nigerians to guide their votes against rigging.
Buhari who spoke with journalists at about 4.30pm after his assessment of election nationwide including Kastina said, "I'm disappointed in INEC".
He said ANPP is already compiling the irregularities and atrocities by the PDP, the party will take appropriate action soon, adding that he was not satisfied with the conduct of INEC because it was marred with violence that ANPP is weighing options that it'll take with the leadership of the party.
He said "after the 2003 elections and since 2005 we've started campaigning, I have toured the various states in Nigeria, my support is not only in the North but all over the country. But with the result at hand, I'm disappointed in INEC".
Buhari noted that, "In Kastina, in 3 local government areas election was flopped, in Zango, DPO was found with electoral materials, in Sanmu, the former Speaker, House of Assembly was caught with electoral materials.
“In Mashi, officers of Nigeria police were caught aiding and abetting, the situation is not only in Kastina. In Borno, the governor had to run to the Commissioner of Police, the commissioner was helpless, the governor ran to the Brig. Commander. In Gombe, it was open rigging, in Niger Delta, the Federal Government appears to be helpless."
He however said that in spite of all these, election must continue adding that "if Nigerians want the best leadership they must be ready for sacrifice and ensure that ANPP wins and the elite should not be selfish".
The embattled Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar also expressed doubt about the fairness in the conduct of the current general elections.
He expressed his view immediately after casting his vote at the Ajiya Ward polling station in the Yola metropolis at about 12 noon, an hour after arriving the state from Markudi, Benue State. He said he was not confident about the fairness of the election despite an impressive turn out of voters at the polling station.
The Vice President was speaking on the heel of controversy and confusion over an alleged disqualification of the Alliance Congress (AC) governorship candidate Alhaji Ibrahim Bapetel and house of assembly candidates in the state by the Resident Comm-issioner of the Indep-endent National Electoral Commission Alhaji Suleiman Bello late Friday night.
The purported disqualification threw voters and INEC officials at the different polling stations across Adamawa state into confusion.
Before driving off with his entourage after casting his vote, Atiku still limping and with a cain to support himself, said he will not talk now as it was too early to do so, explaining that there was still time to assess the governorship and state house of assembly election. He reiterated lack of confidence in INEC to conduct a free and fair election in the country.


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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.