Friday, 12 December 2014
Security, Funding Threat To 2015 Elections —Jega
Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has identified insecurity and funding as challenges facing the conduct of the 2015 general election in the country.
Jega stated this during a lecture delivered on his behalf by Alhaji Nasir Ayilara, Oyo State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner at NTA, Ibadan, on Thursday, entitled: “Preparation for 2015 general elections: How far, so far.
“Three major challenges we are facing as we approach 2015 election are insecurity, funding, attitude of the political class and inactive citizenry,” he said.
The lecture was organised by National Forum Of Heads Federal Establishments (NAFOHEADS), Oyo State chapter.
Jega said one of the epitheps of elections in Nigeria was that they were said to be akin to war.
“Indeed, the heat and passion associated with elections in Nigeria often make elections appear like war.
“Pre-election violence has led to the death of many politicians, their supporters and innocent citizens of the country,” he said.
The INEC boss,who called on voters to be law-abiding, said widespread intimidation of voters persisted and organised thugs spread fear across communities ahead the elections.
He noted that several security threats now characterised the electoral process, which included physical attacks on INEC staff and facilities, attacks on security personnel while on election duty..
“Also, there is misuse of security orderlies by politicians, attacks on political opponents, cyber-attacks targeting INEC databases, especially the register of voters,” he said.
Jega, who said the threats were now made worse with insecurity in some parts of the country, hoped that the development would be addressed to allow safe conduct of 2015 polls.
On the attitude of political class, he said the use of language was in many cases in decorous, encouraging supporters to follow suit with more intemperate language and ultimately fueling violence.
Worried by the spate of ex parte injunctions that have been issued against the commission based on wrong selection procedures of candidates, Jega said the need for even greater citizens’ participation cannot be underestimated.
He said active participation of citizens not only ensured sustained engagement and participation in the political and electoral processes, stating that it could be bulwark against the impunity in political culture.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, who was represented by one of his Special Advisers, Alhaji Olawale Akibu, said the administration was expecting INEC to deliver a credible election come 2015.
“Oyo State government is expecting INEC REC to allow fairness and level playing ground during the election,” he said.
He, however, commended federal civil servants in the state for their contributions toward development of social and economic potentials, saying Operation Burst, comprising federal officers, were doing well in ensuring peace.
Ajimobi restated the state’s commitment to ensuring peace and stability in the state.
The event was attended by the representatives of Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs and other federal agencies.