By Ahmed Abubakar
As Nigerians continue their search for ways of achieving credible election in the country, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has put the blame on politicians.
Prefessor Jega has said that stakeholders, especially politicians are frustrating the desire to have free, fair and credible elections in the country.
Jega stated this yesterday in a key note address at a one-day workshop on “Securing the 2015 Elections,” organised for Commissioners of Police by the United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP), in collaboration with the police in Abuja.
The INEC boss said that the frustration had reached a stage when many Nigerians doubt whether democracy was really worth it or not.
“Nigerians have aspired for democracy; they have aspired for free, fair and credible election for the deepening and consolidation of democracy. But that this aspiration has been continuously frustrated to the extent that one can say that many Nigerians have been wondering about whether democracy is worth it,” Jega said.
He was however optimistic that free, fair and credible elections were within the reach of the country.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that the deadline of December 25th date for the submission of Governorship and State Assembly nomination forms, has been shifted to December 26, 2014.
Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
Idowu said the commission shifted the date because it falls on Christmas day, December 25.
He, however, said there was no any extension in the December 18, deadline set for the submission of Presidential and the National Assembly forms.
The press secretary said there would be no submission opportunity for any political party that fails to submit by the set deadline, which was 8 pm of December 18, 2014.
He said initially, the commission intended to close the submission by 6 pm of Thursday but some of the political parties wanted the deadline to be 12 midnight.
Idowu said the commission and the political parties at a meeting held on Monday, eventually settled for the 8 pm deadline.
“For the Presidential and National Assembly elections, the deadline is Wednesday December 18, by 8 pm for the submission of form CF001 and CF002,’’ he said.
He however declined comment on the number of political parties that had submitted or yet to submit their presidential candidate nomination forms.
“Even by tomorrow, Thursday, you may not likely get the information from INEC because, the law provides that what is being submitted today must be officially published on December 25.
“It also provides that whatever names submitted for governorship and state houses of assembly election on December 26, 2014, should be officially published on January 1, 2015.’’
The chief press secretary added that there was a constitutional provision for the withdrawal of candidates “but the person who is nominated to INEC has to write and sign that he or she is withdrawing from this race. When he or she does that, the party can bring another name within the stipulated time,” he explained.