News / Africa

    Nigeria Electoral Body Apologizes Following Vote Postponement

    Electoral officials wait for ballot material at the distribution center  in Ibadan, Nigeria, Saturday, April 2, 2011
    Electoral officials wait for ballot material at the distribution center in Ibadan, Nigeria, Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Clottey interview with Nick Dazan, INEC assistant director of public affairs

    Peter Clottey

    An official of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the electoral body has apologized to Nigerians following the postponement of the general elections.

    This came after the parliamentary election scheduled for Monday was re-scheduled for another week.

    Nick Dazan, INEC assistant director of public affairs, says participating political parties agreed with officials of the electoral body for the postponement of the general elections to ensure transparency and a level playing field.

    “We held a very lengthy [discussion] with the 63 political parties and, even though we wanted to hold the election Monday, they now complained that they were not ready logistically. As you are aware, they had sent their own agents to be present at all the polling 402,000 units across the country to represent them in the first set of elections,” said Dazan.

    “Their position was that they are not going to be financially ready by [Monday] to send back these same polling agents to the polling stations because the banks would have been closed, and they will not have access to money that they will pay to the agents. This is a process that the commission wants to be transparent…if they [party agents] are not there, it is going to affect the integrity of the election,” he added.

    Under a new schedule, announced Sunday, Nigeria will cast ballots for the legislature on April 9, then vote for president on April 16, and state governor positions on April 26.

    Nigerians were in the process of voting for parliament Saturday when the country's election commission abruptly announced the polls would be delayed until Monday. The commission blamed the delay on problems in the distribution of voting materials.

    Dazan says the electoral body regrets the inconvenience that the postponement has caused “patriotic” Nigerians.

    “We appreciate that a lot of Nigerians, millions of them of course, who registered in the countryside during the voter registration exercise now have to travel to the countryside again. Unfortunately, when we looked at all these challenges holistically, we saw that the right thing to do was, [even though] we, on our own, wanted the elections for today, that is Monday,” Dazan said.

    “But, when the political parties raised these challenges, it became very clear that if we insisted on holding the elections on Monday, the election will not be successful because the parties themselves will not be in a position to take part actively. And, if they don’t, it means that the election will not work,” he added.

    In a statement Sunday, election commission chairman Attahiru Jega said political stakeholders wanted a further delay.

    The postponement has sparked anger and disappointment across Nigeria and the election commission has come under sharp criticism.

    Before Saturday, Jega had given no hint of any problems, instead saying the April elections would give Nigeria the chance to "get it right" after 2007 polls marred by violence, fraud and disorganization.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.