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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid