Nigerian electoral chief says will not resign

2015-03-16 21:00
Chairperson of INEC, Attahiru Jega speaks in Abuja as Nigeria has postponed its presidential election on security grounds as the Boko Haram conflict intensifies. (AFP)

Chairperson of INEC, Attahiru Jega speaks in Abuja as Nigeria has postponed its presidential election on security grounds as the Boko Haram conflict intensifies. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - The head of Nigeria's electoral commission said on Monday that he would not resign, rejecting calls from some supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan for him to stand down before a 28 March election.

Jonathan's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised Attahiru Jega's handling of the electoral process and some accuse him of bias towards the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, charges he denies.

"I believe it would be a disservice to this country at this point in time for me to say I'm resigning," Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), told reporters in the capital Abuja.

Some of Jonathan's supporters have posted advertisements in newspapers accusing Jega of "plunging the nation into crisis", by failing to produce and distribute voter ID cards on time. All the adverts also urged people to vote for Jonathan.

If Jega is forced out or resigns, the opposition is likely to cry foul and dispute the result.

The manner in which Africa's most populous nation conducts this election will be closely watched by investors and world powers. Any dispute over the result could trigger violence, especially with an increasingly polarised electorate.

Jega announced a six week delay in the election last month - it was originally supposed to happen on 14 February - saying he had been told by the military that it needed more time to retake territory controlled by Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The opposition condemned the delay, which was widely viewed as INEC yielding to pressure from the PDP.

"Yes there have been all sorts of demands for either my resignation or my removal and even now some demonstrations for that, as far as I'm concerned I have a job to do and I remain focused to do it," Jega said.

A PDP spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Jega said 67 million out of 68.8 million permanent voter cards (PVCs) had so far been produced, with 56 million collected, and that all would be finished and distributed by the election day.

"We are doing everything possible to make sure that everyone gets their PVCs," he said.

Buhari, a Muslim northerner, draws the majority of his support from the largely Muslim north, while Jonathan draws much of his from the largely Christian south and east.

Read more on:    inec  |  attahiru jega  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  nigeria 2015 elections

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.