Council Of States Okays February General Election

The National Council of States on Thursday gave its nod for the general elections scheduled for this month to be conducted as scheduled.

Made up of the  President, the Vice-President, all former Presidents or ex-Heads of State, all former Chief Justices of Nigeria, the President of the Senate, state governors and the Attorney-General of the Federation, the council rose from an eight – hour meeting to give the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, the go ahead to conduct the polls as scheduled.

The council, however, also advised the electoral body, which is statutorily responsible for deciding when elections are conducted, to consider postponing the polls in states where terrorist activities would make it practically impossible to organize election.

Nigerians had been divided over whether the election should go on as scheduled starting from February 14. While the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC, had led the voices insisting that the elections go ahead as scheduled, other parties have threatened to boycott the polls if they are not postponed.

Only on Tuesday, 16 political parties and four presidential candidates in Abuja announced their preference for a postponement of the election, arguing that the security situation in some parts of the country and the inability of INEC to distribute all Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, to registered voters necessitated the call.

The APC has always said that the idea of postponing the election was orchestrated by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in light of its loss of popularity.

The Council of States is an advisory body and its recommendations are merely suggestions that are not binding. Therefore, the decision to hold the election as planned or not still lies with the electoral body which has maintained that it is prepared to go ahead with the polls.






     

     

    It was gathered that the INEC chairman told his audience at the council meeting Thursday that the commission had made all necessary arrangements to conduct the election as scheduled.

    Some of the nation’s security chiefs, however, raised concerns about the conduct of the elections in certain parts of the country.

    In attendance at the meeting were President Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, all past Presidents or Heads of State except President Olusegun Obasanjo, all but  a few state governors, the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, security chiefs and the INEC chairman

    The electoral body is expected to make a pronouncement on Friday on the decision to go ahead with the elections.

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