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

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs