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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid