" ITREALMS: Catholic Bishops want Jega to probe denial of election observer ID

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Catholic Bishops want Jega to probe denial of election observer ID

Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has called on the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to quickly probe its denial of the 2015 election observer identity cards, reports ITRealms.

The Bishops in a preliminary statement on the 2015 general elections, made available to ITRealms and endorsed by the duo of Chairman Church and Society, Bishop Lucius Ugorji of Umuahia Diocese and President of CBCN, Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama, the Archbishop of Jos, noted the importance of the probe so as to note to spoil the good image of INEC.

“We call on the INEC chairman Prof Atahiru Jega to investigate what happened in order to not rubbish the good works he has put into building the credibility of INEC,” they said. 

The Bishops emphasized the fact that election observation by civil society organisations has the added value of enhancing the credibility and acceptability of election results.

According to the Bishops with regards to 2015 general elections, they received accreditation for Justic, Development and Peace Center (JDPC), under the auspices of Caritas Nigeria, which is it’s relief and development agency. 

The lamented that contrary to expectations, INEC could not fulfill its obligation of providing enough identity cards to all the approved list of observers, in spite of the extension of six weeks. 

For instance, they pointed that whereas in Lagos State the JDPC planned to deploy 697 observers, as already approved by INEC, the Commission could only provide 160 identity cards, and similarly shortchanged Abuja, Warri, Uyo, and towns in Benue. 

INEC, the Bishops said was not able to print any identity cards for Bauchi, Jalingo, Nsukka, Lafia, Kaduna, Kano; all this, after accrediting JDPC and approving 5189 number of observers. 

“INEC refused all entreaty to use alternative means of identification,” the Bishops Conference said.

+Remmy Nweke (ITRealms)
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