INEC Summons Political Parties to Abuja

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Prof. Attahiru Jega

Prof. Attahiru Jega

Apparently miffed by recurring political skirmishes ahead of the July 14 governorship election in Edo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Wednesday expressed concern over the situation and therefore slated tomorrow for a meeting with all the political parties participating in the election in Abuja.

The convocation of the meeting, it was gathered, however came on a day the Commission assured the residents of the state that Tuesday’s fire outbreak in one of its facilities in Abuja would not affect its operations.

A statement signed by the Commission’s Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said since the announcement of the governorship election date in the state, political parties had expressed concerns about preparations for the election.

The statement which was signed by Jega’s spokesman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, said while such concerns and anxiety were expected in the build-up to an election, it was important that matters do not degenerate as to threaten the fair conduct of the polls.

“Consequently, the Commission is deeply concerned about unfolding events in Edo State which are capable of overheating the polity and posing a fundamental threat to the integrity of the impending governorship election and indeed the stability of our democracy.

“In order to avert further deterioration of the situation, the Commission has invited the Chairmen and Secretaries (National and State) as well as candidates of all the parties contesting the governorship election in Edo State namely, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Labour Party (LP), National Conscience Party (NCP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP) to a meeting at the national headquarters of the Commission on Friday, 18th May 2012 to address the concerns of all stakeholders,” the statement stated.

Jega said in the past few weeks that the Commission had received petitions containing allegations and counter allegations from various political parties, stressing that some of the accusations were directed at political parties and candidates, while others were directed at the Commission’s preparations for the election.

While assuring of the commission’s neutrality, the INEC boss said: “The principles that have guided the work of this Commission are transparency, honesty and creation of a level playing field for all political parties and their candidates. The Commission remains committed to these principles.”

While maintaining that confirming the fire incident that it would not hinder its operations in any way, the statement said: “There has been a fire incident at The Electoral Institute (TEI) located at the Central Business District, Abuja. The institute is an annex of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”

The fire, which started at about 11.55p.m on May 15, was promptly put under control, thereby preventing any serious damage to the INEC facility.

It was also gathered that relevant agencies had commenced investigation into the exact cause of the fire, while preliminary accounts, however, suggested that the fire resulted from a breach in the electricity supply cable to the Institute, generating a surge which triggered fire in the electrical panel room.

 

In : Politics

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