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Nigeria’s Electoral Commission to Conduct Post-Election Analysis

Attahiru Jega, Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman, reads the results sheet before he declared Nigeria's incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan as the winner of the presidential election, in Abuja, Nigeria, April 18, 2011

An official of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says his group has invited all stakeholders to begin discussions about how to improve upon the organization of future polls.

Nick Dazan, INEC’s deputy director of public affairs, says both local and international poll observers declared the vote to be free and fair, despite problems encountered during the electoral process.

“They will brainstorm in a robust manner over how the elections went, the gains that were made this time around, the failings and how these failings can be improved upon in 2015,” said Dazan.

Riots broke out in the predominantly Muslim north after officials announced that President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south, had won the presidency. A Nigerian human rights group says violence following last week's presidential election killed at least 500 people.

Opposition parties have rejected the outcome of the presidential vote claiming voter irregularities.

Dazan said the stakeholders meeting will also focus on how to prevent violence in the future.

“What the violence instructs very eloquently and very clearly is that we need to educate Nigerians … that it is not enough for one to contest elections.” He added,”If he is a winner, he should be generous to those who lost and that if he lost, he should be gallant so that the majesty of the democratic process will be enhanced,” Dazan said.

Dazan agreed with poll observers that “underage voting” took place in some areas. He said, “this partly was a fault of the staff we recruited to conduct the exercise [elections].”

Meanwhile, results of the state gubernatorial elections in both Kaduna and Bauchi are scheduled to be released Friday.

Voting in the two states were delayed due to deadly political violence following the presidential election.