The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega has expressed the commission's pleasure at the generally smooth conduct of the ongoing general elections.
Jega spoke on the polls during a media briefing on Sunday, March 29.
Read his speech below:
"INEC wishes to commend Nigerians for their large turnout and peaceful conduct during the elections. The Commission commends Nigerians for the resilience and understanding exhibited in the face of these difficulties”
“We hope good conduct will continue to prevail throughout the election period as well. The Commission is pleased that the elections went on smoothly across the country including the North-East where Internally Displaced Persons voted (Adamawa,Yobe,Borno).”
“It is also gratifying to note that the card readers worked well in the majority of the Polling Units (PUs). Though there were areas where the difficulties experienced necessitated additional guidelines. The guidelines by the Commission allow for manual accreditation of voters as announced yesterday.”
“Osun, Kebbi, Ekiti, Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi state reported manual accreditation in some PUs. As a result of these difficulties, elections could not be concluded yesterday in a few PUs and voting in underway today.”
“I can tell you certainly that the failure of card readers surprised us and it is probable that the POs were not trained.”
“The Commission conducted voting for IDPs in the NE, although with a few reported security incidents. It is heartwarming that the elections went well in a substantial number of the PUs across the country notwithstanding challenges.”
“We commend the security agencies for their vigilance and dedication. In the course of the elections yesterday, the Commission has received reports of security challenges in some states that were repelled.”
“Only the INEC is empowered by law to announce results and it is an offence for anyone to preempt the Commission in this regard.”
“You start counting 48 hours when substantial amount of polling units have concluded elections. According to the reports from our state offices, collation of results has commenced and it is going well.”
“We received reports of a boko haram attack and a few ad-hoc staff of INEC lost their lives. We have reached out to the family of the bereaved and it is an unfortunate event.”
“We received reports of underage voting from Taraba and we have instructed that the PO involved be identified. Underage voting is against the law, we are investigating reports and will take measures once this is established.”
“This morning, I received a letter from APC calling for elections cancellation in Rivers, we are thoroughly investigating this. After investigation, we will brief the political parties of our findings.”
“If we find out that our staff are involved in any illegal acts, they will be investigated and penalized according to the law.”
“It is true our INEC office in Rivers state was torched, we have informed police authorities. We have asked for additional security so this does not occur again.”
“We will declare results when it has been collated from the states. You start counting 48 hours when substantial amount of polling units have concluded elections.”
“Collation of results will begin at 12pm tomorrow. We are not under any pressure to declare inconclusive elections.”
The elections were slated to hold only on March 28 but were extended to the 29th due to difficulties experienced in some areas.