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Nigeria and the 2011 elections-INEC chief calls for Prayers

Chairman of the Independenct National Electoral Commission (INEC) Attahiru Jega, has called for prayers to enable the newly-reconstituted electoral body conduct free and fair elections in 2011.

Jega made the request in Kano at a Roundtable Discussion tagged: “The Path to Credible Elections in Nigeria”,organised in his honour by the Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Bayero University, Kano (BUK).

He said the conduct of a credible election was not the responsibility of INEC alone and implored all Nigerians to “actively engage in the political process” in order to attain the goal.

The former BUK vice-chancellor described his assignment as “a challenge and promised to do everything humanly possible to stand by the oath office he took before his assupmtion of office.

He said he had taken note of the suggestions and recommendations given by the participants at the discussion, saying that the inputs would assist him in his assignment.

Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion and former Chief Judge of the Federation, Justice Alfa Belgore, had described Jega as “an honest, forthright scholar and administrator”.

He said he had no doubt that Jega would succeed in conducting free and fair elections in 2011.

Also speaking, the Executive Director, Human Rights Monitor, Mr. Festus Okoye, expressed the need for INEC to site voting centres at suitable places to ensure the security of the staff and voting materials deployed for the elections.

Okoye also suggested that the commission should source good vehicles for the transportation of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials to ensure their safety and timely delivery.

Other speakers at the forum included former Managing Director of the New Nigerian Newspapers, Malam Mohammed Haruna and elder statesman Tanko Yakasai.