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2011 POLLS: THERE IS CAUSE FOR APPREHENSION – SHINKAFI

By NBF News
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Former vice-presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy and All Peoples Party (AD/APP) joint ticket in 1999, Alhaji Umaru Aliyu Shinkafi, has expressed apprehension over the 2011 general elections.

He observed that 'all the ingredients of volatility are (still) intact and they are highly liable to be ignited by a single or any combination of faltering steps,' asserting that 'we need to be extremely cautious about what confronts us with regards to the impending general elections.'

The former National Security Organisation (NSO) boss spoke yesterday in Lagos at the lecture on Electoral Integrity organised by the Obafemi Awolowo Institute of Government and Public Policy where he wondered whether the country could still conduct election within the next seven month when the ingredients needed for it were not yet on ground.

'For example, let us reflect on the current situation we are in as a people and country. It is now the first week of November 2011. Constitutionally, we must conduct general elections and organise the swearing-in of new public officials, by May, 29, 2011. This is just seven months from now.

'Yet, we have not started at all, as far as the Nigerian public is concerned. Basic things like comprehensive electoral law and timetable, voters' registration and display of voters' list have not started. with the operational budget of N87.72 billion, the electoral commission has no problems about funding,' Shinkafi pointed out.

The Marafan Sokoto, who said he could not be accused of being alarmist for expressing apprehension over the situation on ground, explained that, 'if we reflect on our political history from the 1959 independence election to date, we cannot avoid being anxious about how we can sail through the forthcoming elections.'