INEC ready for free, fair and credible elections – Jega

 

Report disclosed that, Attahiru Jega, INEC chairman told a meeting in the capital city Abuja that his Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had done “everything humanly possible” for a free, fair, credible and peaceful vote on March 28.

INEC has come under close scrutiny since last month when Jega was forced to postpone the February 14 general election on the grounds that troops could not provide adequate security on polling day.

Nigerian soldiers, backed by troops from Cameroon, Chad and Niger, are currently involved in a major offensive against Boko Haram, which has seized swathes of territory in Nigeria’s northeast.

The Islamist insurgency, which began in 2009, has killed more than 13,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands more to flee, raising the prospect that the displaced will be unable to vote.

Despite a series of claimed military successes, security fears remain over the safety of polling stations after an increase in bomb and suicide attacks in recent weeks.

On Saturday, two homemade bombs were found in an IDP camp in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, adding to security fears.

Jega maintained that the election would be peaceful, despite the insurgency and election-linked violence, and said the six-week delay had given his organisation more time to prepare.

“There is evidence indicating that we are much better off security-wise than we were before the postponement of the elections,” he added.

Last week, the government said that Boko Haram had been forced out of 36 towns in the northeast and that Adamawa state had been “cleared” of Islamist fighters.

On Monday, the military said that the militants were forced out of Goniri, southeast of the Yobe state capital, Damaturu.

 

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