Ondo poll sign of what to expect in 2015 – Jega
Ondo State, weekend, is an indication of what the nation should expect in 2015, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has said.
Jega, who spoke exclusively through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Kayode Idowu, in Abuja, yesterday, said INEC was committed to giving Nigerians free, fair and credible elections in 2015 and beyond.
The chairman said the outcome of the election was a clear indication that Nigerians were ready to make their votes count and that the commission had learnt some lessons from past elections and had adjusted its processes accordingly.
The INEC boss said: “What you saw in Ondo last weekend was a reflection of the people’s wish and I can say that INEC and the other stakeholders were up to their tasks. “We can say that the security agencies and the commission did their best to ensure an election that truly reflects the wish of the Ondo people.
Allegation has no basisAsked to comment on the allegation by one of the defeated candidates that INEC and the security agencies did not police the rural areas of the state thereby giving room for electoral fraud, Jega said it was not the duty of the commission to police polling stations.
He said: “But I want to state unequivocally that the allegation has no basis as the person who is making the claim cannot say that INEC or the security agencies aided and abetted the so-called fraud before, during and after the poll.
“When we go out for election, we make sure that all the candidates are well represented and that security agents are available at all points to ensure that no cheating takes place. “That is exactly what we did in Ondo and all men of good conscience will attest to the fact that we did not in any way give room for anyone to cheat. The records are there for all to see.”
He said the commission had learnt from elections so far conducted and had taken adequate measures to ensure that elections in the country were not only free and fair but also reflect the yearnings and aspirations of the electorate at all times.
The Edo, Ondo experienceThe chairman said from the experience of the commission in Edo and Ondo states, it would be possible to conduct a better election in 2015 and to satisfy the wishes of Nigerians.
He noted: “We are ready to do all that is possible to ensure that Nigerians’ votes count in future elections and to justify the confidence reposed in the commission by the government and the people of the country.”
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