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…We’ll put him on ballot – Iwu

Posted by By FRANCIS AWOWOLE-BROWNE and JAMES OJO, Abuja on 2007/04/17 | Views: 825 |

…We’ll put him on ballot – Iwu


The Independent National Electoral Commission has assured that the name of Vice-President Atiku Abubakar would be on the ballot paper for the presidential election as ordered by the Supreme Court, saying the court decision will not in any way derail the commission’s plan.

…We’ll put him on ballot – Iwu

The Independent National Electoral Commission has assured that the name of Vice-President Atiku Abubakar would be on the ballot paper for the presidential election as ordered by the Supreme Court, saying the court decision will not in any way derail the commission’s plan.

Chairman of the Commission, Professor Maurice Iwu told the Commonwealth delegation of Election Monitoring Team from African countries such as Gambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, and Commonwealth secretariat, among others, which paid him a visit in his office Monday, that the commission as a creation of the law must surely obey the rule of law.

The chairman’s reaction was in response to the inquiry by the delegation led by Mr. Joseph Wariobo, former Prime Minister of Tanzania, on why some candidates’ names and parties symbols were missing on the gubernatorial ballot papers in some states.

Professor Iwu said the commission had made contingency plans to accommodate Atiku’s name on the ballot papers, adding that INEC had never disobeyed any court orders and would not do so this time.
He pointed out that the INEC had made provision for any last minute court pronouncement, "even if such orders should come in 48 hours to the polls,’’ adding: "We have always been saying that we shall obey all court orders because we are a product of the constitution. We did make contingency plans to have the photographs and logos of the candidate in our ballot papers."

The INEC chairman told the delegation that his commission had decided to have fresh elections in two states, where there were reported cases of electoral malpractice, noting: "If we are not satisfied with any election, we will cancel it and do by-elections."
On the concerns expressed by the leader of the team on voter registration and logistic problems observed in last Saturday’s polls, Iwu explained that the current voters register was an improvement over the previous ones in the country. He added that the logistic problems associated with late arrival of voting materials was deliberate in some states because of the sensitive nature of the material and to forestall them from being hijacked by some unscrupulous politicians.

On accreditation of local observers, Iwu noted that all Nigerians should be proud to be an observer, because the country belonged to everybody. He gave assurance that he would make amend where necessary.
Professor Iwu, however, advised the team to observe within right context and familiarise themselves with the peculiarity of Nigerian environment, saying the late redeployment of some electoral officers was to give credibility to the elections.

The leader of Commonwealth team and former Prime minister of Tanzania, Mr Joseph Wariobo, in his remark earlier, praised the commission for ensuring free, fair and credible elections in the country, noting that this would be the third time the team would be monitoring elections in Nigeria.
He then sought for clarification on various forms of voters register, underage voters, and logistics problems observed in the governorship and state Houses of Assembly polls. He equally advised that secrecy of voting should be guided and criticised transfer of electoral officers days before the elections.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.