Group seeks U.S., E.U. pressure against shift of Nigeria polls

The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice at the weekend called on the international community, particularly the European Union, United States and Canada, to pressure the Nigerian government to ensure rescheduled elections are held as planned.

The civil society group said it was worried that after an inter-agency consultative Committee of Election Security meeting held on Monday February 23, 2015 with the National Security Adviser, on the preparedness of the military and para-military organisations for the general elections, INEC was still not sure of the level of security during the polls for its staff and election materials.

The consultative meeting was the first between the INEC and the security agencies since the elections, initially scheduled for February 14, 2015 were postponed by six weeks over security concerns.

The chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, had said at the end of the meeting that the electoral body was still unable to guarantee security to provide the platform for a free, fair and credible general elections slated for March 28 and April 11.

“The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) is worried that this ugly trend is rearing its head again in spite of repeated assurances from President Goodluck Jonathan,” the group said in a statement by its Executive Director, David Ugolor. “We consider the nervous disposition of INEC as an ominous sign that portends ill for the March 28 and April 11 2015 Elections.”

He commended the recent visit of the President, along with Chief of Army Staff to some sections of the recaptured territories from Boko Haram, to boost the morale of the Nigerian troops.

Mr. Ugolor however urged the National Security Adviser to the President, Sambo Dasuki, and the security chiefs to do everything within their powers to assure INEC, Nigerians and indeed the free world of adequate security during the general elections.

“Anything less is unacceptable, especially as the constitution does not sanction any kind of shift of the general elections beyond the current dates of March 28, and April 11,” Mr. Ugolor said.

The EU, U.S., Canada and the international community, he said, must take a firm and resolute position concerning the elections in Nigeria, adding that the Nigerian authorities should be compelled to demonstrate patriotism and selflessness in forestalling any constitutional crisis in the country.

He said if the Federal Government does not support INEC with needed security for the general elections, it would be seen as an open invitation to anarchy.

The military authorities, the group said, must continue to fight terror in the North-East for INEC to conduct peaceful and successful elections, while President Jonathan, as the Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces, must provide all necessary assistance to the Inter-Agency Committee on Election Security to support INEC organize the elections.


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  • Gaskiya

    The US, EU and other international power need to compel our callous federal government to avoid anarcy by conducting the election on March 28 and April 11, 2015. If the Jonathan led government failed to do so they should be punished severely.

    • ijelejames

      Well said. If they fail to conduct the election on March 28 and April 11, 2015, they are inviting anarchy. If blood is spilled because of this, they must be taken to the Hague. This is where you punish anarchists and political criminals.

  • napex

    everything you call EU, US and other foreign power to come and help you. you will soon call Syria, afganistan and Ukraine to come too what can you people ever do for yourselves, those of you always making this calls are part of the problem of the country. note Nigeria is a sovereign state.

    • Guguru

      When you have a government prone to abuse and impunity and who will not act in the interest of the nation, what then do you do and why is asking someone with the might to compel them to act a bad thing?

      • progress

        True talk!

  • grace folarin

    THERE SHOULD NOT BE ANY SHIFT IN POLLS ANYMORE. WE LOVE NIGERIA AND WE HOPE FOR THE BEST OF THE COUNTRY. THEREFORE THE DUE DATE SHOULD BE MET. #GEJ4NAIJA

  • korona melvin

    THERE WON’T BE ANY POLLS SHIFT, SO THERE WON’T BE ANY NEED FOR PRESSURE . NIGERIA WILL PEACEFULLY CONDUCT ELECTIONS COME MARCH 28 #GEJ4NAIJA

  • chi boss

    I think Nigerians are been misinformed, people should stop saying what they are not sure of. The President himself has assured us that the elections will hold as scheduled, he cannot go against his word. #GEJ4NAIJA

  • AdemolaO

    The first poll shift was due to the disastrous situation in Borno. Now the matter is at hand, there is no reason for further delay. Anything about a second wait is misinformation.

  • Okwuchukwu

    GEJ has said in his Al Jazeera speech he would not further shift the poll. Stop spreading lies and fear all over the internet.