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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

I Won’t Quit Now - Prof Jega

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega will not be going on terminal leave before the expiration of his tenure in June.

The idea will be tantamount to a dis-service to the country, especially now with the elections so close, Jega said yesterday.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections have been fixed for March 28. The governorship and states Assembly elections will come up on April 11.Jega, who spoke in Abuja at a town hall meeting, said he had spurned calls and demonstrations against his continuous stay in office, stressing that he would remain focused on the job at hand.
He said: “I have a job to do and I remain focused to do it. It will be a dis-service for me to resign now. No serious minded person in my position will proceed on leave when there is a very serious job to be done.”Besides, Jega said he was not under any pressure from any quarter to embark on terminal leave.He said a High Court verdict asking the Commission to include the  Young Democratic Party (YDP) on the list of political parties would not affect the elections, adding that the commission has directed its lawyers to challenge the   judgment.Jega also reassured Nigerians  that the elections will hold as scheduled as the security situation has drastically improved in the last few weeks.He also assured Nigerians on the use of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), despite calls that the commission should use Temporary Voter Cards (TVCs) for the elections.Jega promised that the outstanding 700,000 PVCs would be available latest by  Saturday – one week to the Presidential election.Jega said the commission would not be happy to see any registered voter denied the right to vote as a result of the commission’s failure to produce the PVCs.He described the calls for the dropping of the card readers as diversionary, stressing that the use of PVCs and card readers would add value to the process.INEC boss said the commission was prepared for the elections, before the postponement – contrary to the belief in some quarters.Jega argued that if the commission was allowed to go ahead with the February date, it would have done a better job compared to the 2011 elections.The extension has afforded the commission the opportunity to improve on its plans

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