"2015 elections will hold as scheduled" - President Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday assured Nigerians and the international community that the country’s general elections, fixed for March 28 and April 11, would hold as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Mr. Jonathan also said the Federal Government was working hard to improve the capacity of the armed forces to fight insecurity.

The president spoke at the inauguration of four Navy ships: Okpabana, Centenary, Sagbama and Prosperity at the Naval Dockyard limited, Victoria Island, Lagos.

He said his administration would rout Boko Haram and conduct elections as scheduled by INEC.
“So, Nigerians can see that the present administration is leaving no stone unturned to improve the capacity of our armed forces, not just the Navy but also the Army and the Air Force,” he said. “We have built sufficient capacity. And let me also use this platform to promise good country men and women that we would rout Boko Haram. Our capacity has increased sufficiently and our officers and men are doing wonderfully well in the North.

“And we must conduct our elections as scheduled by INEC, because within this period we are convinced that we will return the North to the level where the activities of extremists will not affect our elections. They are working hard day and night and I directed that Nigerians should be briefed regularly.”
The President spoke a day after the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, told Nigerian federal lawmakers he could not guarantee the 2015 general elections would hold on the rescheduled dates.

At a meeting with Senators Wednesday, Mr. Jega said he could not commit himself to the “sanctity” of the new dates because security cover for the polls was beyond the control of his commission.

INEC had postponed the elections after military chiefs warned against going on with the vote to allow it focus on fighting the terror group, Boko Haram.

But the opposition All Progressives Congress said the delay was instigated by President Jonathan, to save him and his party from losing the elections to the APC candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.

There have also been suggestions that Mr. Jonathan and his party were plotting to derail the election and planning to foist crisis and an Interim National Government on the country.

But the President has now reiterated that the election would go on as planned, saying Boko Haram would have been sufficiently routed by the new dates to allow elections hold in the troubled North-East region.

Credit: Premium Times