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COMMISSION TO RELEASE ELECTION TIMETABLE

By NBF News

Commission to release election timetable
By Emmanuel Ogala
March 12, 2010 04:42AM
(L-R)Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Senate President, David Mark, and INEC Chairman, Maurice Iwu, after a meeting with the leadership of the Senate in Abuja yesterday.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will announce the time table for the 2011 general elections on Tuesday. The chairman of the commission, Maurice Iwu, said this yesterday in Abuja.

Mr. Iwu, who was at the National Assembly to meet with the senate leadership, said his commission has completed work on a comprehensive timetable for the 2011 polls.

He told the senators that the Commission is unveiling the time-table in preparation for the January 2011 general elections.

Mr. Iwu did not, however, state how the commission's time table intends to accommodate the ongoing electoral reform and constitutional review process at the National Assembly.

One of the effects of the review is that the elections should enhance the efficiency of both INEC officials and the security officials protecting the voting process.

Mr. Mark, told the commission boss that the National Assembly will facilitate the Electoral Reform programme so that it will be of use in the forthcoming general elections. He said the reform is necessary for a successful election, unlike what has been in the past.

Mr. Mark further said the INEC officials will have the legislative support in the proper discharge of their duties.

The election plan
Mr. Iwu said voters' registration will commence by June to July this year and that the Commission has set-up automatic strategic centres in three locations: Jigawa, Ogun and Abia States to serve as database for the registration.

'I am impressed that the voters' registration will soon commence, but I am of the opinion that the exercise should be a continuous process.' Mr. Mark said.

'Anybody who has come of age could easily walk into any INEC office and register; this will ease the process and make it more accessible to all Nigerians.'

Mr. Iwu said the Commission has engaged a research and methodology plan to reduce cases of ballot snatching, election violence and rigging and other electoral malpractices.

He attributed the success of the Anambra polls to the outcome of the research embarked upon by INEC, which he said the Commission will continue to improve on.

He said Nigerians should be ready for a successful elections in 2011.

'The Commission will retain the services of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members as back-up staff for the 2011 polls instead of going back to adhoc staff,' he said.