Saturday, April 2, 2011


An address by the chairman
of INEC, Prof. Jega on the
postponement of National
Assembly elections.
Since this Commission
started work in July 2010, I
have repeatedly promised
Nigerians that in carrying out
our duties we shall always be
sincere and truthful with
Nigerians. I have always said
that this INEC will be upfront
with Nigerians, telling you
exactly how things are –
sharing both our successes
and difficulties with you.
This is one such occasion.
Indeed, it is an emergency.
As you know the National
Assembly (House of
Representatives and Senate)
elections are supposed to be
taking place as I speak. You
would also have noticed that
things have not proceeded
smoothly as expected with
the elections.
The reason for this is the
unanticipated emergency we
have experienced with late
arrival of result sheets in
many parts of the country.
The result sheets are central
to the elections and their
Accordingly, in many places,
our officials have not
reported at the polling units,
making it now difficult to
implement the Modified
Open Ballot Procedure that
we have adopted. Not only
do we have to enter the
results in the sheets, the
number of accredited voters
is also to be entered in the
result sheet.
From Left; INEC National
Secretary Alh Abdulahi
Kaugama, INEC
Commissioner Prince
Adedeji Soyebi and INEC
Chairman Prof Attahiru Jega
at the nationwide
broadcast announcing the
postponement of the N/
Assembly elections,
Saturday, in Abuja.
While we could have
proceeded with the elections
in a few states of the
country, where all the
materials are available, such
as Lagos, Kaduna, Kebbi,
Delta, Zamfara and Enugu,
among others, in order to
maintain the integrity of the
elections and retain effective
overall control of the process,
the Commission has taken
the difficult but necessary
decision to postpone the
National Assembly elections
to Monday, April 4, 2011.
I appeal to all Nigerians for
their understanding in this
difficult situation. We as a
Commission appreciate the
profound sacrifice that you
have all made not just in
turning out today, but also
throughout this election
season. We are greatly
encouraged by you and our
appeal is that you remain
steadfast in this last lap of
this electoral process in the
interest of all Nigerians and
in the cause of democracy.
The Commission will
immediately be contacting all
political parties, as major
stakeholders to explain the
situation. I appeal for their
support in explaining the
situation to their members
and supporters.
May I also appeal to all other
stakeholders, particularly
national and international
observers and our
development partners for
continued understanding. I
realize that they have
committed enormous
resources to this process,
especially in deploying
observers in the field.
However, we think that what
is worth doing is worth
doing well.
Finally, while we deeply
regret this situation and
apologise to Nigerians for
the hardship this may have
created, I would like to
reiterate that we are fully
committed to conducting
free, fair and credible
elections for Nigerians. The
decision the Commission has
taken is weighty; but it is
also a very important step in
further ensuring the
credibility of the elections.
Professor Attahiru M. Jega,
Honourable Chairman

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