INEC chair, Attahiru Jega, opens up on APC controversy

Attahiru Jega

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, said on Saturday that the commission was yet to register any of the three political associations jostling to take ownership of the APC acronym.

Mr. Jega made the statement in Kaduna shortly after participating in a Hausa  programme of  the Kaduna National Station of Federal Radio Corporation, called “Hannu Dayawa”.

He dismissed speculations that the commission had registered any of the three political groups.

The political associations are the All Peoples Congress, African Citizens Congress and All Progressives Congress.

The INEC chairman said that the registration process was ongoing.

“INEC has not registered any political party. We have not gotten to that stage, so far the process is ongoing and people are making a mountain out of a molehill.

“And I think we should be judged by the action we have taken, not by speculation of what we are likely to do.

“My stand is that it will be clear as soon as we finish the processes Nigerians will know what decisions we have taken,” Mr. Jega explained.

He also dismissed the allegation that INEC worked outside the electoral or constitutional laws on the registration and de-registration of political parties.

“We acted according to the law, both the constitution and Electoral Acts have granted us the power to register as well as to de-register parties. And what we have done is to de-register political parties in compliance with the legal provision.

“And as you may know in the last one week or so, even those who went to court to contest their de-registration have lost in court because the court has judged that we have the power to de-register political parties.

“So, registration and de-registration are continuous processes, we would do them as the need arises,” he said.

The chairman added that INEC would release programmes for the delimitation of constituencies in April.

“INEC will try to do delimitation of constituencies in good time before the 2015 general election. We have already finalised operations in-house, we have come up with a plan of action.

“God willing, before the end of April, we will roll out the programme of delimitation of constituency, but before then there are phases to it and we intend to do it,” Jega said.

He said the commission’s first plan of action on the constituency delimitation was to sensitise the public to  the reason for it and how to do it before commencing.

“We have already commenced that process of sensitisation; when we met last week with chairmen and secretaries of political parties we briefed them on the preparations,

“We will now use some time to reach out to all relevant stakeholders and brief them before we roll out the programme,” he said.

Mr. Jega said that the commission would conduct the delimitation of constituencies  transparently and urged Nigerians to cooperate with INEC to achieve success.

“My call on Nigerians is that they should cooperate fully with us because it is important to delimit constituencies, it has not been done in Nigeria since 1996 and it is important that we do it and we do it well.

“We have pledged to do it transparently and we will require the support and cooperation of Nigerians so that it can be done well. It is important and we must all work together to ensure success.”

(NAN)


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