News / Africa

Nigerian Voters, Politicians Debate Electoral Commission Call for More Time

Nigeria's electoral commission wants more time to register voters for January's legislative, presidential, and gubernatorial elections.

Nigeria's electoral commission has no power to extend voter registration itself.  So chairman Attahiru Jega is asking political leaders to work with the National Assembly to amend the electoral law to give the commission more time.

"The timeline for the implementation of this plan is very tight," Jega said. "Consequently, the commission shall endeavor to engage all the relevant stakeholders with a view to exploring all legal avenues for extension of the time to enable the commission to deliver on the aspirations of Nigerians for credible voters' register and free, fair, and credible elections."

Victor Ume is the national chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance party. If the Independent National Electoral Commission - or INEC - says it needs more time, Ume says there is not really any choice but to give the process more time to ensure a good vote.

"INEC is the institution charged with the responsibility to conduct these elections by our constitution. So if they have said that it is impossible for them to deliver a good election with the program they have released based on legal constraints, there is no way you can proceed,” Ume said.  “It is a dead end."

Commission chairman Jega says INEC was reluctant to ask for more time because it did not want voters to somehow think it was trying to manipulate the process.

Voter John Adamu says he sees nothing wrong with INEC asking for the delay.

"It is not just a delay. These are issue-based things. If we want to have things properly done, it must be done properly," he said.  "There is no reason why we should rush an election that we want to be free and fair. Let every process be properly put in place."

Voter Ese Uvieghara says the two weeks in November currently planned for voter registration is not enough time for a country of more than 150 million people.

"They are not going to focus only on the big cities. They are going to go down to the grassroots because every human being in Nigerian matters as regards this registration,” he said.  “So they need to be well sensitized towards it and be part of it. For me, the 14 days is rather short.  It is a short period."

Voter Mohammed Aminu agrees there is no need to rush the process.

"This is the popular demand for now. It is not only the political parties that are concerned over the short period available to INEC. Even the voters they will express reservations that INEC could hardly conduct credible elections as yearned by Nigerians within this short period of time given to INEC," Aminu said.

Setting the timetable took months of debate in the National Assembly and weeks of review by President Goodluck Jonathan. But Aminu says political leaders should be able to amend the law quickly if they are committed to a good vote.

"If there is this commitment on the part of the National Assembly it is something that within a short period of time they can do it, and Nigerians will have credible elections," he said.

Preparations for the vote are already well underway with the electoral commission training more than 360,000 people to register voters. Party primaries begin October 18.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid