21 out of the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) said the elections should continue as planned while 16 others voted in support of a reschedule in a vote conducted this evening by the INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, after he met with political parties and the civil society. Each of the states in Nigeria has its REC and the Federal Capital, Abuja.
The outcome of the vote came as Nigerians await INEC’s decision on whether the elections are postponed 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 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 told 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. read-on-nextpage…