Why Jega Is Yet To Brief The Media

First, it was billed for 5pm but now the much-awaited press conference of Professor Attahiru Jega, national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is said to be expected “anytime from 9pm,” today.

This was disclosed by Nick Dazang, deputy director of publicity, INEC, hours after Jega had been expected to brief the media on whether INEC wants to proceed with the Presidential and Governorship elections on February 14 and 28 as originally scheduled or not.

TELL learnt that the INEC chairman is currently faced with a dilemma of sorts as all the security agencies in the country were said to have written INEC demanding a shift in the election date for six weeks in the first instance.

The security agencies were said to have told INEC that they planned to commence a major operation against Boko Haram insurgents for six weeks starting from February 14, the date originally scheduled for the Presidential polls and would rather not be distracted by the elections.

While the security agencies and the federal government are trying to arm twist Jega into shifting the election dates, a coalition of civil society groups some of which have met with Jega earlier today are insisting that the election proceeds as planned. They, on the other hand, demanded the resignation of security chiefs who can’t provide security for elections arguing that their action is tantamount to a coup d’état.

In the course of the day Jega had earlier met representatives of political parties where 17 political parties voted in favour of a postponement while 11 others argued that the elections should proceed as planned.

At another meeting today, Jega was told to stick to the original election timetable by 21 Resident Electoral Commissioners, REC representing the different states of the Federation while 16 others voted in favour of a rescheduling of the elections.

It is yet to be seen what decision the INEC chairman would take by the time he finally comes round to addressing the media today.

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Adejuwon Soyinka

Adejuwon Soyinka was former Deputy General Editor, TELL Magazine and Editor, www.tell.ng, the online publication of TELL Communications Limited

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