• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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INEC to release election results today

2015-election

Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured that the results of the March 28 elections would be announced in 48 hours from when the votes were concluded around the country on Saturday.

Voting was was conducted in the Presidential, Senate and House of Assembly elections last Saturday, and spilled over into Sunday, in some areas, mainly on account of draw backs experienced with electronic card reader machines.

The 48 hours, Jega said, commences from the time the votes were concluded in major parts of the country on Saturday.

He further dispelled rumours that results of the polls were ready, noting that the  process was still on going across states of the federation.

“Collation of results is still ongoing in states across the federation and the first set of results were expected Sunday evening, at the national collation centre in Abuja.” Collation of the results sent in by states will start by 12 noon today (Monday) he added.#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu lifts curfew in Lagos

Jega, who spoke to the press yesterday evening after a very long wait, addressed all issues raised and assured the country that  the commission would investigate all anomalies observed in Saturday’s polls, to know why they happened and guard against their recurrence in the governorship and state house of assemblies elections, to hold April 11.

Nigeria went to the polls on Saturday to elect a president and federal lawmakers. The elections initially slated for February 14 held on March 28 owing to security reasons and ill preparation by the electoral commission.

“In 2011, INEC was able to declare the results of the elections in 48 hours and we have been working to beat that record. Our hope is that we should be able to beat that record and declare the results of the elections in less than 48 hours.

“Nigerians should count the 48 hours from the time that voting ended in major parts of the country on Saturday”.

The INEC boss who commended Nigerians for their large turn out and peaceful conduct during last Saturday polls, noted their resilience and remarkable understanding in the face of several difficulties and challenges observed during the election.

“We are pleased that the elections went on smoothly in a substantial number of polling units of the country, including the north, where the commission was also able to conduct voting for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the three states of Adamawa, Yobe, and Borno”.

There have been apprehension that elections would not hold in the three states because of the security situation of the state’s where the dreaded Boko Haram sect has held sway.

He promised that the commission would investigate why the card readers malfunctioned, compelling some people in some states to revert to manual accreditation.

“Osun, Kebbi, EKiti, Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Anambra, Akwa-Ibom and Ebonyi states reverted to manual-only accreditation of voters in some polling units”.

Majority of the card readers malfunctioned on Saturday, thereby affecting and delaying the accreditation of voters for the elections. This created operational challenges, leading to non-conclusion of the elections on Saturday in some polling units, and drawing into Sunday.

“There is a clip going viral of an under age vote in Taraba. We have mandated our state Resident Electoral officer in Taraba to investigate the issue because it is criminal.

“It is possible to identify the under-aged, and the officials at the polling unit and take appropriate steps”

About the call for cancellation of the polls in Rivers state, Jega said: “We got a letter from the APC in the state and we are concerned about what happened in the state where lots of allegations have come. We can assure Nigerians that we will investigate the allegations and we will act decisively if our staff are found wanting”.

While he admitted lapses in the conduct of last Saturday elections, Jega said the commission would do its best to correct them.

“We have seen a number of lapses and we will find out why they happened and take steps to prevent recurrence. Every lapse identified is a lesson in preparation for the future”, he said.

BADEJO ADEMUYIWA