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Author Topic: protesters storm Nigeria INEC office,demand postponement of elections  (Read 583 times)

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Offline mastercode

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Hundreds of protesters stormed the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Monday, demanding the postponement of this month?s general election.

The youth gathered at the INEC headquarters in the Maitama District of Abuja asking it to delay the polls because of the difficulty in the distribution of the Permanent Voters Card, PVCs.

According to the protesters, only 40 per cent of the PVCs had been distributed ahead of the February 14 and 28 elections.

They also claimed that INEC needed 960,000 ad hoc staff but that at the time of their protest the staff had not been engaged.

They argued that if the polls were allowed to go ahead as scheduled, several million Nigerians would not be able to vote.

The youth, who gathered at Unity Fountain beside Hilton Hotel before marching to the INEC headquarters on Zambezi Street, were bearing banners and placards with the inscriptions such as ?Election is for general participation, not for selective few? ?INEC, do the right thing,? ?Don?t disenfranchise Nigerians,? ?We demand for the extension of election to allow Nigerian exercise their franchise.?

After the protest, the youth returned to the Unity Fountain where they were sighted sharing money.
It was not clear if they were sponsored by the Presidency or the PDP, but sources indicated that they were hired by some unnamed individuals who promised them money.

The National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, a retired colonel, had at an event in London recently made a case for the shift of the elections to give INEC more time to distribute all the PVCs.

However, criticisms trailed the call with Nigeria?s leading opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, alleging that Mr. Dasuki was only making the call to buy time for the PDP presidential candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan?s campaign to gather steam.

Since the NSA made the call some individuals and groups have also asked for the postponement of the polls.

INEC said it has so far distributed 42.77 million PVCS out of the 68.8 million registered voters, representing 62.15 per cent.

Since Mr. Dasuki?s call for postponement of the polls, several Nigerians and groups, especially, the All Progressives Congress, APC, have maintained that the Presidency and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are pushing for postponement because of the fear of failure.

The PDP and Presidency have both denied being behind the postponement move.

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