The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has expressed concern over the call for the postponement of the February 2015 Nigeria general elections by Sambo Dasuki, Presidential Adviser on National Security.
Mr. Dasuki, at a briefing in Chatham House, London on Thursday, 23rd January 2015, called for the postponement of the elections, which according to him is to enable the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC), distribute millions of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to the voters.
The report also claimed that Mr. Dasuki had told the Chairman of INEC that a postponement within the three months allowed by the law would be a good idea.
Reacting to the call by Mr. Dasuki, the Situation Room described the suggestion as an unnecessary interference in the independence of INEC as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution, stating that dates for the elections can only be set by INEC.
The chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega, at a recent meeting with Civil Society Organizations, had assured that every effort would be made to ensure that intending voters collect their PVCs before the February elections.
The Situation Room called on the political parties and civic groups including religious organizations, labour unions, to mobilize citizens to pick up their PVCs in the centres designated by INEC.
Situation Room called on INEC to put in place every measure to ensure unhindered and speedy distribution of any outstanding and uncollected PVCs.
“We continue to urge INEC to update the public on PVC distribution in States that have been most impacted by delays,” the group said in a statement signed by Clement Nwankwo, the Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre.
Situation Room called on Nigerians to go out en-masse to collect their PVCs, and prepare to cast their votes for candidates of their choice in the upcoming general elections.
The Situation Room is made up of Civil Society Organizations working in support of credible and transparent elections in Nigeria and includes such groups as Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), CLEEN Foundation, Action Aid Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Enough is Enough Nigeria, Wangonet, Partners for Electoral Reform and Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA). Others are Development Dynamics, Human Rights Monitor, Election Monitor, Reclaim Naija, Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, CITAD, CISLAC and several other CSOs numbering more than 60.