Blame INEC if 2015 general elections fail – ACE

Group says the inability of INEC to update voter register is worrisome.

A Civil Society Organisation, Alliance for Credible Election, ACE, has said the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will be held responsible if the 2015 general elections are not transparent and credible.

The General Secretary of ACE, Emma Ezeazu, who stated this in Abuja on Monday, said it is inexcusable and unacceptable that the commission is yet to update the voter register to include the names of persons entitled to vote in the elections.

He lamented that despite the assurances of its chairman, Attahiru Jega, the commission is yet to sensitise Nigerians on the time frame of the continuous voter registration exercise and how the exercise will be conducted.

He said the register should not only be updated but that there should also be a legal procedure for the exercise.

“On the strength of this we find it inexcusable and unacceptable the antics and actions of the commission on its intention to compile, maintain and update the national voters’ register, which shall include the names of all persons entitled to vote in any federal, state or local government or area council elections as stated in Section 9(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. We also call on INEC to release and make public a comprehensive plan for the nationwide continuous voter registration,” Mr. Ezeazu said at a news conference.

The ACE chief said that Section 10(1) of the 2010 Electoral Act requires INEC to engage in the continuous registration of all persons qualified to be registered voters; adding that the commission has over the time acknowledged the need for continuous voter registration but “unfortunately, the commission is yet to bring out a clear cut mechanism for the exercise.”

He called on INEC to give urgent attention to the transfer of registered voters according to the provisions of the law and to also ensure that voters are not disenfranchised. He insisted that the commission must ensure the proper upgrade of the register is done and completed before the 2015 elections.

Mr. Ezeazu also asked INEC to immediately embark on nationwide constituency delimitation early enough before the 2015 elections. He asked the commission to ensure the publication of election results, polling unit by polling unit, noting that this would promote the integrity as well as transparency of the electoral process.

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