BY OKEY NDIRIBE
ABUJA—As Nigerians continue to shower encomiums on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for conducting a hitch-free governorship election last Saturday in Ekiti State, the electoral body has reassured Nigerians that next August’s gubernatorial polls in Osun State would be better.
This assurance was given yesterday by INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, while speaking at the commission’s quarterly meeting with the 26 registered political parties in Abuja.
Jega also expressed his satisfaction with the efforts of the registered political parties in ensuring a hitch free poll in Ekiti and also urged them to use the opportunity provided by the election to support the commission’s efforts in conducting a free and fair poll next year.
The INEC boss further urged all stake holders who were involved in the conduct of the Ekiti polls that was adjudged the best the commission has so far conducted not to rest on their oars adding that it is the commissions’ resolve that the August 17 Osun polls and 2015 general elections would be better than the Ekiti polls.
Jega further stated that the meeting will among other things deliberate on the progress and challenges the commission has faced in the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards, PVC, as well as conduct of the Phase one of Continuous Voters Registration and preparations for phase two.
According to him: “ The meeting would also discuss the approved guidelines for political party registration and deregistration, harmonize the draft guidelines for political party campaigns ahead of the 2015 elections and schedule party primaries for the 2015 polls.”
He continued: “This meeting is coming at an auspicious time, in the wake of the recently concluded governorship election in Ekiti state. I must therefore use this opportunity to congratulate and commend all stakeholders whose positive involvement in the process has resulted in the successful conduct of the election, such that it has been adjudged as the best election INEC has so far conducted.
From the INEC staff, to the young men and women of the NYSC and other tertiary institutions, to the security agencies, political parties, civil society organizations and the candidates and host of other stakeholders, every one put together their best and our collective best turned out to be good enough in Ekiti. That is how it should be and it is a very good lesson for our future elections.”
He further stated that the successful conduct of a free, fair and peaceful election in Ekiti is a good omen for the subsequent elections to come, and indeed in line with the yearnings and aspiration of Nigerians for a consolidated democracy.
Said he: “The forth-coming election in Osun state, God willing should be better, and the 2015 general elections must be the best. It is therefore a challenge for all of us to join hands and continue to work together to ensure this necessary outcome.”