Analysts Say Creation Of Additional Polling Units By INEC Is Unnecessary

inec_ballot_box 1Some analysts have expressed their reservation over the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create additional polling units ahead of the 2015 general elections, describing the process as unnecessary and untimely.

A legal practioner, Chima Nnaji, who was among a host of other guests, disagreed that the INEC Chairman’s claim that the introduction of the units is for the good of the voter, insisted that “the voter will be ultimately imperiled by the arrangement”.

Citing statistics, Public Affairs Analyst, Bala Zakka, agreed with Mr Nnaji, saying “Jega is right on paper, but when it comes to the practical realities on the ground, based on certain things that have happened in Nigeria; based on sectors that have come out with creativity and innovation and ended up failing, there will be a need to review the framework”.

However, Social Commentator, Oscar Onwudiwe, went a step further saying that the process should be “abandoned totally not discussing review.

First of all, I think Jega may mean well, but he lost something called sensitivity”, adding that “in this country politics is everything and politics being everything, people are sensitive”.

Mr Onwudiwe urged the electoral umpire to “focus on the continuous voter registration exercise.

“Forget the success recorded in the state elections we have witnessed but when it comes to the general elections, we do know that materials will not get to certain places. So why are you increasing polling units?, he asked, advising Jega “to manage it for now and do your re-organisation, throw it out for people to contribute and discuss; don’t just come out and say this will be the new regulation”, he warned.

Professor Attahiru Jega has however justified the creation of over 30, 000 polling units across the country.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Jega argued that contrary to the belief that the action was motivated by mischief, INEC arrived at the decision in order to improve the electoral process ahead of the 2015 general election.

However, Jega maintained that the action was taken in the interest of the country and that it was only being misinterpreted based on the general level of mistrust.

He explained that the additional polling units would de-congest overcrowded polling units, situate polling units at proper places and encourage other factors that could ensure the smooth conduct of the forthcoming election.

Analysts Recommend Ways To Bring Boko Haram To An End

vlcsnap-2014-06-28-14h33m39s27A security expert, Mr Ladi Thompson, on Saturday urged Nigerians to always remain alert, security conscious and report any strange movements or items to the nearest security agency.

Speaking during Channels Television’s weekend breakfast show, Sunrise, Mr Thompson noted that the bomb blast in Abuja shouldn’t have come to any Nigerian as a surprise.

He said “if anybody was surprised by the bombing in Abuja, it would mean that that person has refused to face the reality of what we have on ground in Nigeria.”

He argued that security operatives were using an inferior tactic in solving the insurgency and bringing the culprits to book. “I would have preferred the Federal Government to diagnose the problem properly and also brace up the nation for the reality on ground, instead of empty promises that cannot be backed up”, he said.

Also speaking on the programme, a public affairs analyst, Mr Dare Ogunlana, noted that there were different approaches to fighting terrorism but noted that using brute and military forces has never solved an insurgency.

He went memory lane to mention the case of Hamas-Hezbollah in Lebanon, stating that “there is no way you can deter them; the only thing you can do is to deter their supporters.”

He berated the inability of the security apparatchik to arrest those behind the insurgency, maintaining that the Boko Haram members have succeeded in confusing Nigerians to engage in the blame game instead of dealing with the insurgency head on.

Mr Bala Zakka also joined the discussion. He noted that the Boko Haram group were out to carry out a vision to “render the country lawless and the government powerless and irrelevant” and have decided “to apply all kind of forces to dislodge any form of human and material on their way to achieve that.”

He warned that though “the foot soldiers (insurgents) have been indoctrinated using the weapon of propaganda and radicalism, the masterminds are sound, educated and probably very strong people in terms of finances and intelligence.” He also warned that negotiation should not be used as a form of bringing the insurgency to an end.

The explosion that occurred on Wednesday, June 25 at a shopping mall, Emab Plaza, Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja was the third deadly explosion in the Federal Capital Territory, in two months. The explosion killed no fewer than 21 persons and injured 17 others.

Eyewitnesses said that the bomb was placed in front of a taxi at a point where taxis drop passengers going into the plaza. Those affected were, taxi drivers, fruit sellers and passers-by.

The security operatives, however, have arrested two suspects for the blast and they have been taken for interrogation.

The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, said the Abuja bomb blast occurred simultaneously with another bomb explosion in Mubi, Adamawa State, adding that the insurgents’ attempt to intensify the spate of bombings and killings in parts of the country was calculated to distract and intimidate the President and his government as the 2015 elections draws nearer.

Also in Kaduna, not fewer than 123 people were killed by Fulani gunmen in the continued onslaught on some villages in Sanga Local Government Area, on Wednesday, June the 25. While on Monday, June 23, 38 persons were killed in night raids on two villages, with several persons injured.