News / Africa

Nigeria Electoral Body 'Very Prepared' For Saturday’s Vote

Nigeria's electoral chief and academic Attahiru Jega attends a meeting with staff from the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja, March 17, 2011
Nigeria's electoral chief and academic Attahiru Jega attends a meeting with staff from the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja, March 17, 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 is set and fully prepared to organize the National Assembly elections throughout the country Saturday.

Nick Dazan, INEC assistant director of public affairs, says the electoral body has corrected the “mistakes of the past” and has been proactive in its preparations to ensure the vote meets the expectations of Nigerians, as well as that of the international community.

“The commission is very, very prepared for the elections to the National Assembly, that is the House of Representatives and Senate that will hold tomorrow. Already, all the materials that we intend to use for the elections have been delivered to all the states,” said Dazan.

“All the ad hoc staff, 360,000 of them, is already at different locations across the country to conduct the elections. So, we are ready,” he added.

The National Assembly vote is the first in a series of elections the electoral body will be organizing, including the presidential, parliamentary and state governorship elections.

Dazan says INEC distributed materials needed for Saturday’s vote in time to ensure the vote proceeds smoothly.

“The commission has done all in its capacity to ensure that the elections are going to be free, fair and credible, that a level playing field has been provided for all contestants, and that our staffs are going to comport themselves with transparency and integrity, and that, at the end of the day, we will deliver elections that are acceptable to Nigerians and members of the international community. That is what we are looking at,” said Dazan.

He also described as unfortunate what many say was incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan’s one-man debate ahead of the presidential vote. Dazan, however, denies the debate will undermine the electoral process.

“The commission would have preferred a situation where the debates were robust, a situation where all the candidates were present but, unfortunately, this did not take place at one particular point. Be that as it may, the fact that not all the contestants were there to address the issues does not detract from the sanctity and quality of the election,” Dazan said.

Meanwhile, observers will watch to see whether election officials can prevent the violence and fraud that badly marred the last polls in 2007. European Union monitors described those elections as "not credible" and the results were challenged in court for months.

Nigeria's electoral commission has pledged to make this year's polls free and fair and has introduced new voting procedures designed to prevent cheating and maintain order.

On Thursday, an opposition party in the oil-rich Niger Delta accused security forces of intimidation after one of its candidates was charged with treason and murder.

John James Akpanudoedehe, a candidate for governor in Akwa Ibom state, was charged with treason last week after rioting between his supporters [from the Action Congress of Nigeria] and rivals from the ruling People’s Democratic Party. He was granted bail, but was immediately re-arrested on a murder charge.

His supporters say the charges are politically motivated.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs