Feb polls: The National Council of States insist election be conducted as scheduled

Feb polls: The National Council of States insist election be conducted as scheduled

The National Council of States
meeting called to discuss issues about
the the nation’s security challenges
and the forthcoming elections has
ended.
At the end of the eight-hour meeting,
members insisted the general
elections must proceed as scheduled,
reporters were told.
Members also agreed that elections
could be postponed in troubled zones
— areas ravaged by the Boko Haram
insurgency.
Nigerians, and indeed the
international community, had
watched out for the outcome of the
meeting all day given the alleged plot
by government to force INEC to shift
the elections.
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo
State told reporters after the meeting
that INEC assured the Council it was
ready to conduct the elections and
that the distribution of the permanent
voter cards was going well.
Mr. Okorocha said the nation’s
security chiefs also said they were
ready for the elections but raised
concern about the possibility of
elections holding in areas under the
control of Boko haram insurgents.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo
State however later told journalists
that the council advised INEC to
reflect over the concerns raised by
members and the suggestion made by
those who spoke in taking a decision
that would allow for the conduct of
smooth elections.
President Goodluck Jonathan
presided over the meeting, where
national issues bordering on the
nation’s security and the elections
were deliberated upon.
All former Presidents and Heads of
State — Shehu Shagari, Yakubu
Gowon, Muhammadu Buhari,
Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar and
Interim National Government President Ernest
Shonekan — except Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,
attended the meeting.
Other participants were Senate President, David
Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, and former Chief Justice
of the Federation, Justice Musdafa Belgore.
Governors of Anambra, Kogi, Katsina, Kano,
Osun, Imo, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Niger,
Lagos, Bayelsa, Rivers, Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara,
Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Cross River, Enugu
and Delta states were also in attendance.
Also present were Governors of Bauchi, Akwa
Ibom, Jigawa, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, acting governor
of Taraba while Abia, Oyo and Borno were
represented by their deputy governors.
The National Security Adviser to President
Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), FCT
Minister Bala Muhammed and the Minister of
Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation
Mohammed Adoke also attended.
The Chairman of the Independent National
Electoral Commission, [INEC], Attahiru Jega, and
the nation’s security chiefs made presentation to
the meeting, which started around 11.56 a.m. and
ended after 7.pm.

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