By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA — CHAIRMAN of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, yesterday, affirmed that the commission would overcome all the challenges it was facing before the commencement of the elections on February 14.
He also re-echoed the commission’s determination to ensure that the elections were much better than that of 2011.
Speaking during his quarterly meeting with political parties at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, Jega insisted that INEC was determined not only to conduct free, fair and credible but a violent-free polls.
He said: “I want to use this opportunity to assure all of you that as we promised Nigerians, we are working assiduously to ensure that we prepare adequately and that we conduct elections that are free, fair, credible and peaceful.
“I want to also assure you that we are committed to ensuring that the elections we will conduct will be remarkably very much better that those we conducted in 2011.
“We believe that even though there may be challenges, such as the distribution of the PVCs, we feel confidently that with the measures and mechanisms that we have put in place, that these challenges are challenges that we can overcome. We shall overcome them well in advance of the conduct of the general elections.”
He said the meeting was an avenue to provide an update on the preparation for the 2015 general elections.
The INEC boss, therefore, appealed to all stakeholders to join hands with the commission in addressing the challenges it was facing at the moment even as he appealed to Nigerians to be patient, especially with the distribution of the PVCs.
He advised them to remain committed in securing their PVCs by coming out to collect them, explaining that the use of the PVCs will help reduce electoral fraud.
Speaking at the occasion, Chairman of Inter Party Committee, IPAC, Dr. Yusuf Tanko, called on the Federal Government to declare a three-day public holiday for collection of PVCs, saying the holiday will enable all registered voters go out to collect their cards.
Tanko who also spoke on the ongoing political campaign, condemned the level of violence observed so far, warning that IPAC will not hesitate to drag to court any political party that violates the non-violence accord.