INEC Chair: I’m Not Under Pressure to Quit

By Olumide Bajulaiye in Abuja

INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega has dismissed speculations he is about to lose his job, saying nobody has told him he is being removed. He said he was not under any pressure to quit the job.

He also said he would not resign as doing so at present would amount to a disservice to the country.

Jega spoke on Monday at a town hall meeting with a cross section of Nigerians in Abuja. The meeting was moderated by TV host Kadaria Ahmed.

The INEC Chairman said the use of card readers would add to the credibility of the election and disclosed that a reasonable percentage of voters had collected their PVCs.

He said about 700, 000 voter cards were yet to be delivered by printers, adding, however, that the cards would be delivered within two weeks and in time for the election.

On security, Jega said though he was not well placed to speak about it, he said things had improved well for the conduct of elections in the affected North-eastern states.

He said the soldiers that would be deployed for the elections would not man polling stations. They would be in nearby locations and could only be brought close to the poll if their attention is required in the event of a major breach of peace during the election, he added.

Jega said in line with the provision of the Electoral Act, only unarmed police officers are required to be at the polling stations while armed police officers are placed within 300 metres radius of the polling stations.

Responding to a question on why he found it difficult to disclose the difficulties being faced by the commission as in 2011 when he assured the nation INEC was fully ready for the poll only to postpone the election when voting had started in some polling stations, Jega said INEC was better prepared for the election that it was in 2011.

He said it was the printers that disappointed the commission in 2011.#He said INEC had made adequate arrangement for the IDPs and mentally challenged persons to participate in the election.