Northern Elders Reject Election Timetable

The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, and the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, have rejected the 2015 election timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

According to them, INEC should conduct all elections on the same day, “to reduce cost and avoid bandwagon effect.”

National publicity secretary of the ACF, Anthony Sani, said the forum was uncomfortable with the sequence of the election and has called on the National Assembly to provide an enabling law that will make it possible for the elections to hold on the same day.

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“ACF prefers electoral disputes in courts to be disposed of before inauguration, but now INEC timetable is too close to inauguration. As a result, inaugurated winners will still use government resources to fight electoral disputes in tribunals and courts. That will be most unfair to the alleged losers in the elections and Nigerians,” the forum said.

On its part, the NEF said that apart from the possible bandwagon effect that is likely to be associated with the current timetable as announced by INEC, the likelihood of a winning presidential candidate in the February 14 poll manipulating the subsequent elections cannot be ruled out.

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“There is nothing so significant about the dates that have been reeled by INEC; however, I do not see any reason for INEC’s inability to conduct the elections the same day because it is possible and this is done all over the world, so Nigeria cannot be an exception in this case,” it said through its spokesman, Ango Abdullahi.

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INEC had on Friday released the timetable for the general election. The presidential and National Assembly elections were fixed for February 14, while the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly polls will hold February 28.

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