Sunday, February 1, 2015


2nd February, 2015
The Central Working Committee of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) rose from its Situation Assessment Session (SAS) on the 2015 polls with encomiums for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).      

The SAS session which took place yesterday, Sunday, 1st February, 2015 reviewed the performance of the electoral body on the 2015 polls. SAS paid particular attention to INEC’s state of readiness for the elections which will kick off on Saturday, 14th February and concluded that enough ground has been covered to set off the election on that date.

SAS session therefore rejects calls for postponement of the exercise and describes those behind the calls as reactionary elements and cogs in the wheels of democracy. SAS observes that the electoral body has succeeded in retaining the confidence of Nigerians as it resists pressure in this regard.

On the ability of INEC to remain neutral, SAS gives kudos to the electoral body for refusing to get involved in inter-party squabbles to date and for creating a level playing ground for all political parties. It commends INEC for its commitment, pragmatism and high-level professionalism.

The successful completion of production of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) is another feather in INEC’s cap. Ditto for the diversification of PVC collection centers in local governments and wards as well as INEC’s ingenious use of social media which enabled millions of people to locate the centers where they collected their PVCs.

The electoral body’s flexible position as reflected in its readiness to extend deadlines for collection of the PVC is highly commendable. The fact that the deadline has again been shifted to the 8th of February, 2015 despite two earlier extensions is another evidence of INEC’s pragmatism and the managerial skill of its leadership. Rigidity could have ignited unpalatable reaction from the electorate.

MURIC charges INEC to remain focused. It is not over until it is over. As the umpire in this very crucial exercise, the electoral body must not compromise its principles. We remind INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, that he has a name to protect: a free and fair 2015 election will print his name in letters of gold whereas compromise will dump his legacy in the dustbin of history.

We invite Nigerians to give INEC full cooperation. The few who are yet to collect their PVCs are urged to create time for follow-up. We appeal to all stakeholders to eschew violence during and after the elections. We charge the security agencies to manifest professionalism and impartiality.

Finally, in order to ensure a peaceful atmosphere, we appeal to political parties, relevant authorities and individuals to resist temptations to rig the election. We also appeal to the Federal Government to declare a two-day holiday to enable civil servants and other workers to pursue the collection of their PVCs.     

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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