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Sunday, 29 March 2015

INEC Dismisses Fani-Kayode’s Claim that PDP is Leading in 23 States

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, has dismissed the claim by Femi Fani-Kayode that President Goodluck Jonathan is leading in Saturday’s election in 23 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

Mr. Fani-Kayode is the Director of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign. And in a statement he just released asking Nigerians to disregard the election results flying around had said:

As we speak now, we are winning in 23 states and we have 64 percent while the APC is winning in 14 states and has 36 percent. These results are subject to confirmation by the Independent National Electoral Commission. However, we are certain of what we are saying because we have information from our agents in every polling unit nationwide. No one must test our will by attempting to change these results and the APC should desist from pushing this nation to the brink of fire, chaos and destruction with their dirty lies and propaganda.'' 

Addressing journalists at the International Conference Centre, the venue for collation of presidential election results, Mr. Jega dismissed Mr. Fani-Kayode’s claim. He said results had only been collated in two states, including Ekiti State, adding that, “except more states have finished collation while we are in this hall.”

“You will have to direct the question to the person who said that (claim of victory in 23 states). And I think you should be careful of such information from people that are partisan,” Mr. Jega said. 

He also warned against unofficial announcement of results.

“Only INEC can declare winners,” he said. 

On the reports of irregularities, protest and violence rocking Rivers State, the INEC Chairman said he received a petition from the All Progressives Congress, calling for cancellation and rescheduling of elections in Rivers State.

He also confirmed that he received reports of the irregularities and violence, including torching of INEC office in the state. The chairman said the electoral agency would “do it best to thoroughly investigate the reports” even though the commission had not received “specific” information in respect of the such allegations as substitution of ad hoc staff.

“The commission has not taken decision,” he said, adding that the decision on Rivers State will be communicated after “thorough investigation.” 

While noting imperfections in the presidential and National Assembly elections, Mr. Jega said his agency had done its best to ensure the election was free fair. He also dismissed speculations that the elections maybe declared inconclusive, saying he was not under pressure to do so.

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