Resist pressure from security agencies to postpone elections, Civil Society tells Jega

Resist pressure from security
agencies to postpone elections, Civil
Society tells Jega

The Situation Room, a coalition of civil
society organisations, working in support of
credible and transparent elections has
urged the Chairman of the Independent
National Electoral Commission, Prof
Attahiru Jega not to buckle to pressure to
postpone the February elections.
The Situation Room in a statement,
Saturday, said it was disappointed with the
letter by security agencies to the INEC
chairman ,” advising that he postpones the
general elections on the grounds that the
security agencies were engaged in a
renewed battle against insurgency in the
North-East that would require their full
concentration .”

The Statement reads:
” The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room
(Situation Room) this afternoon, Saturday,
7th February 2015 met with the Chairman
of the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) and with all of its 12
National Commissioners in attendance.
“At the meeting, INEC Chairman Prof.
Attahiru Jega, conveyed that he had
received a letter from the security services
advising that he postpones the general
elections on the grounds that the security
agencies were engaged in a renewed battle
against insurgency in the North-East that
would require their full concentration. In
the letter the Military was demanding a
rescheduling of elections by at least 6wks
in the first instance.

“Situation Room conveyed to INEC its
disappointment with the letter from the
security agencies pointing out that this
amounted to the Military’s abdication of its
constitutional duties to provide security to
citizens and to the Commission to enable it
conduct elections and appeared contrived
to truncate the democratic process in
Nigeria.

“Situation Room is further worried that the
Military’s position also aims to blackmail
and arm-twist the Election Management
Body away from its constitutional
guaranteed function of conducting
elections. Situation Room also condemns
this advisory by security agents that they
cannot guarantee the security of citizens,
election officials and materials during the
election.

“The Situation Room calls for the
resignation of military chiefs and security
heads including the Police on account of
their inability to exercise their
constitutional responsibility to secure lives
and property at all times including during
the elections.

“Situation Room also calls on Nigerians to
be vigilant and be ready to protect this
hard won democracy!
“The Situation Room is made up of Civil
Society Organisations (CSOs) working in
support of credible and transparent
elections in Nigeria and includes such
groups as Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre
(PLAC), CLEEN Foundation, Action Aid
Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and
Development (CDD), Enough is Enough
Nigeria, Wangonet, Partners for Electoral
Reform and Youth Initiative for Advocacy,
Growth & Advancement (YIAGA). Others
are Development Dynamics, Human Rights
Monitor, Election Monitor, Reclaim Naija,
Institute for Human Rights and
Humanitarian Law, CITAD, CISLAC and
several other CSOs numbering more than
Sixty.”

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