International Election Observers Seek Visa Extension


Following the rescheduling of the 2019 general elections, an international election observer group, the Pan African Women Project based in South Africa has appealed to the Federal Government to extend the visas of all foreign observers to enable them stay until March 9, 2019.

The publicity secretary of the organisation, Mphoentle Keitseng, made the appeal at a joint press briefing on the general elections by domestic and international observers in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

“The Nigerian government should instruct the Comptroller General of Immigration to extend the visas for all foreign observers enabling to stay until the March the 9th 2019 general elections,” said Ms Keitseng.

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The group expressed confidence in the ability of INEC to conduct the elections on the rescheduled dates but cautioned, “The Nigerian government should take into cognizance that the entire world is watching with keen interest, the entire electoral process by Nigeria.

“Many measures are put in place by different observer groups to ensure that the 2019 general elections will be transparent and credible and should meet all international standards. As such, further postponement should be avoided.”

She asked INEC to work assiduously towards instilling confidence in the process by constantly and timeously updating the public on its activities towards the election, just as the group also called on Nigerians to remain calm and support INEC and the electoral process.

Tambuwal Congratulates Jonathan, Buhari On Successful Polls

 TambuwalThe Speaker of the House of Representatives has congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan and President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, on the successful conduct and the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

Speaking during plenary, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal said that President Jonathan would be remembered for playing a critical role to douse tension in the aftermath of the election.

The Speaker also commended the Chairman and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for their doggedness in the face of mounting pressures.

The President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has also commended President Jonathan for his show of sportsmanship in the aftermath of the election.

In response to the congratulatory call from the incumbent President, General Buhari said, “President Jonathan was a worthy opponent”.

World leaders have also congratulated Nigeria on the successful conduct of the 2015 presidential election.

INEC, NYSC Pledge Protection Of Corps Members

inecThe Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) said adequate arrangements have been made for the safety and welfare of corps members who will serve as adhoc electoral staff for the 2015 elections.

The INEC Chairman appealed to the corps members to handle this national assignment (election) with responsibility and patriotism, and resist undemocratic practices.

INEC on the other hand, confirmed its readiness to conduct the 2015 general elections scheduled to take place on Saturday March 28.

The electoral body on Wednesday also said it has accredited 107 domestic and international observers to monitor the elections.

Jega Confident Logistic Challenges Will Be Cut Off During Polls

jegaThe Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has expressed confidence that the decentralisation of distribution of election materials for the 2015 elections would cut off logistic challenges at the forthcoming polls.

Professor Jega said this at a meeting with the former President of Liberia and head of the AU delegation, Professor Amos Sawyer.

Professor Jega told the African Union (AU) election observers in Abuja that this method was not used during the 2011 general elections, hence the late commencement of accreditation and voting at polling units across the country.

The issue of logistics had always posed a major challenge at the polls.

Professor Jega admitted that there were challenges in the methodology of distribution which spiraled into widespread agitations from the electorate.

He added that the electoral body was still growing and would plug all loop holes in future elections.

Jega also urged election officials to ensure that counting of ballot papers after the voting process is done transparently in the presence of local and international observers. He has also warned security personnel against any form of intimidation.

Professor Jega received a letter from the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who promised full support to the nation at this time.

INEC has almost concluded the distribution process nationwide less than 48hours to the polls.