11 January 2013

Nigeria: Poverty Eradication Key to Credible Election-Jega

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega has called on the government to do everything possible to eradicate poverty and other social problems bedeviling the country before the 2015 general election

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a national conference on 'Perspective on Elections and the Challenges for Democracy in Nigeria', organized by the department of political science, Bayero University, Kano, Jega said fighting poverty is credible election.

"It is very important to address poverty and other social problems in Nigeria before the 2015 election. This is because politicians are exploiting the high level of poverty among the electorates to lure them with money," he said.

He said there was need to review the legal framework to address certain contradictions such as Section 31 of the electoral act and section 87 which defined a candidate that should be accepted by INEC. According to him the two sections have each defined who a candidate is in different ways saying the contradictory definition is giving the politicians an edge over INEC on who should be accepted as the candidate for a party

Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Ahmad Kurfi, Maradin Katsina said an independent judiciary to interpret the electoral law and adjudicate fairly on election disputes and freedom of the voter to cast his ballot in secret without let or hindrance and to have the ballots counted and results announced in an unbiased manner were some of the things that would make Nigeria achieve a free and fair election.

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